Basic Rights Queensland: Who We Are

BRQ is a state-wide Qld community Legal Centre, providing advice, advocacy and free legal services. We help people having problems with Centrelink or disability discrimination, and women in the workplace.

Our Values

Fairness

We act with integrity, ensuring our resources are targeted equitably while prioritising people experiencing disadvantage.

Access

We are committed to enabling access to justice through innovative service provision and making the complex comprehensible.

Inclusion

As a Qld community Legal Centre we embrace and understand diversity.

Transparency

We are clearly accountable for our actions so as to maintain trust with our clients, the wider community, and funders.

Respect

We respond to all who need our assistance with compassion and understanding, maintaining a non – judgemental perspective.

Responsiveness

We provide our clients with an objective assessment of their situation while also being empathic to the difficulties of their situation and the challenges of dealing with it.

Expertise

Through continually developing our in-depth knowledge of complex areas of law, we provide expert, evidence-based advice to our clients.

Our Vision

Basic rights for a just society

We are a Qld community Legal Centre.

Our Purpose

  • Providing high quality, independent advice, legal services and community education
  • Upholding rights to social security entitlements, freedom from discrimination and social justice in the workplace
  • Advocating fair and just outcomes for people experiencing disadvantage
Organisational Sustainability
  • Fulfil governance, business and contractual  requirements
  • Be best practice employers
  • Seek additional and diversified income streams
  • Foster a culture of excellence
Responsive and excellent service
  • Analyse data, research and feedback to improve BRQ responsiveness to clients and communities
  • Develop rural and remote practice
  • Foster referral networks to ensure fair access to BRQ
  • Adapt service delivery including through digital platforms
Leaders in Social Security, Disability Discrimination and Employment Rights
  • Engage in networks and campaigns to share  knowledge and collaborate for systemic change
  • Develop or contribute to law reform submissions
Effective stakeholder relationships
  • Map and prioritise engagement
  • Advocate for the needs of our clients
  • Promote BRQ services
  • Foster good stakeholder relationships

In 2018 Basic Rights Qld merged with Working Women Qld.

We are committed to providing advice, referral and industrial advocacy to women experiencing issues in their work.
Working Women Qld continues to be affiliated with a part of the National Working Women’s Centres network who promote the status of working women and advocate for gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Our History

BRQ is a Qld community Legal Centre. It has been operating for over thirty years with the support of volunteers, sponsors, donors and pro-bono assistance.

In 1984 Professor Edna Chamberlain and (now Professor) Mr Bill De Maria, conducted research to determine the advantages of having a supporting advocate for those people appealing Social Security decisions to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

Their findings indicated that there was a significant increase in successful outcomes when Appellants were assisted at hearings by independent advocates.

Based on this research, the Welfare Rights Centre was established and a small group of volunteers were trained and began working on behalf of Social Security clients who were dissatisfied with decisions made by the Department.

Our Funding

BRQ is a registered charity, primarily funded by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, through the Community Legal Services Program.

BRQ is supported by sponsorship, cash donations and in-kind donations such as pro-bono legal assistance.

We apply for one-off grants whenever possible, for projects or essential equipment.

Find out about how to support the work of BRQ. Donations of over $2.00 are tax deductible.

BRQ is an Incorporated Association, governed by a voluntary Management Committee, elected from the membership, while paid staff and volunteers carry out the day-to-day activities.

Our People

BRQ’s team of eleven full-time-equivalent workers has expertise in social security and discrimination law, social work, psychology, administration and financial administration.

BRQ Staff (Permanent and Casual)

  • Haneen Alfadhli – Intake and Administration Officer
  • Jayne Carter – Industrial Officer, Working Women Queensland
  • Tamara Chin – Solicitor, Social Security
  • Leah Clapa – Intake and Administration Officer
  • Ellie Dalton – Solicitor, Working Women Queensland
  • Andrew Davison – Principal Solicitor, Social Security
  • Marie Gabuya – Intake and Administration Officer
  • Emma Goodwin – Administration Coordinator
  • Teresa Grahame – Social Worker, Social Security
  • Terina Hegarty – DFV WorkAware, Intake and Administration Officer
  • Fiona Hunt – Director, Basic Rights Queensland
  • Dahye Jung – Intake and Administration Officer
  • Terri Kempton – Solicitor, Disability Discrimination
  • Bonnie Kubler Shaw – Solicitor, Social Security
  • Syani Linarto – Acting Finance Administrator
  • Maeve Lu – Paralegal, Working Women Queensland
  • Paul MacKay – Community Outreach and Training Facilitator
  • Jack Margaritis – Social Worker, Social Security
  • Monica Matray – Industrial Officer, Working Women Queensland
  • Mark McKeon – Finance Administrator
  • Tim Murray – Principal Solicitor, Working Women Queensland
  • Kathryn Rendell – DFV Work Aware, Community Outreach and Training Facilitator
  • Jake Sheehan – Solicitor, Social Security and Disability Discrimination
  • Simon Tracy – Practice Director, Social Security and Disability Discrimination

Management Committee members:

  • Claire Moore, President
  • Janine Aitken, Vice President
  • Jessica Hodge, Secretary
  • Connor Wrench, Treasurer
  • Lyndal Sleep, Member
  • Rodney Holmes, Member
  • Priscilla Lal, Member
  • Judith Burton, Member
  • Peter Arndt, Member

Volunteers

Volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the work of BRQ. Our volunteers assist with intake, administration, telephone advice, case work and project work.

Many of our volunteers are students for whom volunteering provides opportunities to learn and to develop essential professional skills, such as client interviewing, record keeping and research.

Interested in volunteering? We’d love to hear from you. Find out more about our volunteer program here.