A new office of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Ltd (NAAJA) has opened in Darwin.
Attorney General Robert McClelland opened the office last Thursday (1 September) and said NAAJA had grown from its grass-roots beginnings and today employs over 70 staff in three locations across the Northern Territory - in Darwin, Katherine and Nhulunbuy.
"In 2009-10, NAAJA provided advice and representation in 12,400 matters to Aboriginal clients in the territory, ensuring thousands of people had access to justice," said McClelland.
The federal member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said NAJAA services are vital and often the only legal services available to many remote Aboriginal communities.
"NAAJA staff travel vast distances to represent Aboriginal people at bush courts. NAAJA provides criminal, civil and family law services...and tackles community legal education, advocacy, welfare rights and prison support," said Snowdon.
Senator for the NT, Trish Crossin, said funding from the Government for NAAJA had increased by 27 per cent from 2009-2010 to 2010-11, and that it would continue because of a three year funding agreement with the Government to provide Aboriginal legal services to June 2014.