An Australian law firm has announced it has entered into a new partnership with a Victorian-based organisation.
The partnership between Lander & Rogers and the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria (FVPLS Victoria) has officially been finalised, underpinning the firm’s commitment to make a positive impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
FVPLS Victoria is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation that provides culturally safe legal assistance, early intervention prevention and community legal education to Aboriginal victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
The organisation was established to address the high rates of family violence against Aboriginal people and fill the gap in access to legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors of family violence – predominantly women and their children.
The formalisation of the partnership between FVPLS and Lander & Rogers comes after seven years of collaboration between the two parties.
“We view our pro bono legal assistance and broader engagement with FVPLS Victoria as a meaningful collaboration with a valued partner,” said Lander & Rogers pro bono and community support partner, Joanna Renkin.
“Our partnership recognises our firm's desire to contribute to building sustainable responses to unmet legal need in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and particularly to enhance access to justice for women experiencing family violence.
“We recognise FVPLS Victoria as the expert in the field."
Lander & Rogers chief executive partner, Andrew Willder, added "FVPLS Victoria has proven success in tackling the occurrence and underlying causes of family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women”.
“We are delighted to be able to support the sustainability of FVPLS Victoria in the past and, through this formal acknowledgment of our partnership as a firm, are committed to supporting it into the future to create lasting change for women who experience significant and disproportionate disadvantage in our community,” he said.
CEO of FVPLS Victoria Antoinette Braybrook said the partnership between the group and Lander & Rogers will significantly bolster its contribution in helping those Indigenous Australians in need.
"Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to suffer family violence than non-Aboriginal women, and 10 times more likely to die at the hands of their partners," Ms Braybook said.
“FVPLS services provide essential legal and non-legal supports to ensure that our women are safe and that they have voice. However, regrettably, our services are substantially underfunded.
“Our partnership with Lander & Rogers makes a substantial contribution in assisting us to provide the services and supports that our clients need. By assisting FVPLS Victoria with our work and supporting the establishment of our Koori Women’s Meeting Place, Lander & Rogers has demonstrated a real commitment to improving access to justice for Aboriginal women.”