Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Lawyers recognised for free advice and support

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Lawyers recognised for free advice and support


Community-minded Sunshine Coast lawyers recognised for providing free advice and support

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

Coast couple’s berry bright idea scoops global award

A company that has made children's meals easy and fun has claimed a coveted global award. Sunshine Coast-based Brightberry won a Gold Award at the More

‘Unseasonal’ mould outbreak sparks warning

An unseasonal and widespread outbreak of mould has prompted Australia's leading agency for units to issue a warning to owners. The Australian Apartment Advocacy said More

The ‘bold and exciting’ statement on our foreshore

An eye-catching and unusual playground is expected to be a major drawcard of a new-look Mooloolaba foreshore. The final elements of the new adventure space More

‘I’m out!’ Leading builder’s warning as industry hits ‘sh*tstorm’

An award-winning Sunshine Coast builder has downed tools for the foreseeable future as an unprecedented crisis delivers a massive financial and personal blow to More

Albo’s our new PM as Coast voters stand by LNP MPs

Incoming Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has vowed to bring Australians together after toppling the nine-year-old Liberal-National coalition government. While Sunshine Coast voters returned the LNP's More

Luncheon fit for a queen: foundation marks milestone

A leading community organisation has encouraged people to dress for royalty and come along to a special celebration. The Buderim Foundation, which provides grants to More

Seven lawyers have been acknowledged for providing Sunshine Coast residents with free legal advice and support.

Scott Taylor, John Gallagher, Michael Robinson, Hazrabee Mustafa, Samantha Bolton, Russell Rose and Peter Boyce were recognised for 12 years of dedication with the Suncoast Community Legal Service.

Established in 1984, SCLS has played a crucial role in supporting Sunshine Coasters with free legal advice, help, support and referral.

The service held its 37th annual General Meeting at Maroochydore recently, when it announced big plans for 2022.

“We are always looking towards the future to offer a better service for our community,” Principal Solicitor Julian Porter said.

“This financial year SCLS plans to deliver legal help to over 4000 people, over 3000 individual legal advices, over 1500 legal information services and 20-plus community legal education sessions. Themes for these sessions include domestic violence, property, youth and elder abuse.”

Mr Porter said the service would provide: “over 2000 legal referrals, over 3500 hours of tenancy specific legal assistance to over 500 families and individuals, specific support and assistance to victims and families of domestic violence and elder abuse, representation for over 20 matters at Family Court and innovative community events including ‘Law at the Beach.”

Dr Dinesh Palipana – a doctor, lawyer, scientist and disability advocate – was guest speaker at the general meeting.

President of SCLS Gabe Hutchinson said the service benefited from the commitment of local lawyers.

“We are lucky to have a community-minded law cohort on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“We work with almost 100 Sunshine Coast lawyers to provide these essential services through a network of community outreaches and via telephone appointments.

“We endeavour to be an active local partner to critical community agencies such as LegalAid Qld, RAQ, ATSILS, UnitingCare, SunnyKids, Maroochydore and Family Law Pathways.”

Furthering their community ties, SCLS works in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) School of Law and Society to support the USC programs in Law and Social work.

SCLS offers placements for USC Social Work students and future Sunshine Coast Lawyers each semester.

In 2021, SCLS, in partnership with USC Social Work hub, provided the opportunity for eight USC social work students to complete their 500-hour placements.

All of the eight students were international students enrolled in a Masters of Social Work (Qualifying). The students home countries included India, Nepal, Brazil, China, Taiwan and Poland.

A volunteer management committee directs the SCLS.

The committee includes President Gabe Hutchinson – Lawyer (Clutch Legal), Vice President Jodie Bruce – Lawyer (Jodie Bruce Law), Treasurer Steven Ponsonby – Director (Forensic Accounting Qld), Jessica Popple – Lawyer (Pippa Colman & Associates), Mark Ellis – Lawyer (Volunteer), Jemma Barnard – Associate Lawyer (Travis Schultz & Partners), Paul Morton, Noela L’Estrange.

To learn more, visit SCLS.