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Big boost for Ruah’s innovative legal service

Ruah Legal Service, including the Mental Health Law Centre, is expanding – and keen to recruit new, passionate lawyers to its team.

The expansion is thanks to a significant funding boost from the Commonwealth Government and represents another growth phase for the leading community legal service.

The extra funding has been allocated for 2021-22 from the Federal Government’s National Legal Assistance Partnership which supports the delivery of legal assistance services to disadvantaged Australians, particularly people experiencing family violence and mental health conditions.

The additional resources will enable Ruah to expand its innovative legal services and grow its specialist legal team. The organisation is currently recruiting for three new family law practitioners.

In the two years since Ruah Community Services and the Mental Health Law Centre merged, Ruah has taken bold strides to establish a truly integrated, end-to-end support service for clients.

While many Community Legal Centres offer discrete legal advice and information, Ruah is one of the first to bring together qualified lawyers, paralegals and community workers in a seamless, multidisciplined approach that ranges from advice, early intervention and advocacy, to representation in court, and referral to other services for ongoing care and support.

Ruah Legal Services extends the scope beyond mental health into housing and homelessness and family and domestic violence, including a specialist Care and Protection service offering wrap-around assistance for families facing child protection proceedings and dedicated legal support for women escaping family violence. It incorporates the award-winning Mental Health Law Centre which has been operating for more than 20 years.

Ruah Legal Services Chief Executive Officer Shayla Strapps said, “This extra funding makes it possible for us to take the next step in an ambitious journey that has brought so many exciting and positive changes for our clients.

“It acknowledges the hard work we have all done to get us where we are today and is testament to how well our model is perceived by our funders and the legal community.

“We believe, that by working together as ‘One Ruah’ we can empower the people we support to make positive change in their lives and create enormous social and economic benefits for our community.

“The combined approach allows us to focus, not only on our client’s legal issues, but also the social issues which create or exacerbate those legal problems.”

Find out more about Ruah Legal Services.