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Frequently asked questions

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Advancing Women’s Rights

Free legal help for women & non-binary persons

Our Services

Who does TEWLS help?

TEWLS is a gender-specialist community legal centre that provides free legal help to all women and non-binary persons in the Greater Darwin region. TEWLS is also a domestic, family, and sexual violence specialist service.

TEWLS can provide free once-off legal advice in most areas of civil, migration, and family law. TEWLS also provides casework and representation services on a case-by-case basis.

As a small team, we can provide ongoing casework or legal representation where there is hardship and/or other barriers to accessing justice. When making this decision, TEWLS will take into consideration many different factors such as health and disability barriers, experiences of domestic, family and sexual violence, cultural and/or linguistic barriers, financial hardship, and homelessness, as well as TEWLS’ capacity to assist at that time.

Please note that as a legal service, we are not able to offer second opinions when you already have a lawyer.

Our services are free. For information about how we can help, see Our Services.

Generally, you cannot get legal advice on behalf of someone else. It is important that we speak directly to the person seeking advice so that we can collect the relevant information and provide accurate and complete advice.

There are limited circumstances where it may be appropriate for us to give advice to someone on behalf of another person, such as the parent of a minor, a guardian, or a litigation guardian.

TEWLS provides casework and legal representation services on a case-by-case basis. This means that TEWLS can represent clients as required, including at Court or within a mediation setting.

As a small team, we can provide ongoing casework or legal representation only where there is hardship and/or other barriers to accessing justice. When making this decision, TEWLS will take into consideration many different factors such as health and disability barriers, experiences of domestic, family and sexual violence, cultural and/or linguistic barriers, financial hardship, and homelessness, as well as TEWLS’ capacity to assist at that time.

If we are not able to provide you with legal representation, we will provide you with appropriate referrals for other legal and support services, including private legal practitioners, in your local area.

My Appointment

How long will my legal appointment be?

Appointments range from 30 minutes to one (1) hour, depending on availability and clinic location. When our staff are confirming your appointment with you, they will let you know how long your appointment will be for, and this information will also be included in the appointment confirmation email (or text message, as required).

While TEWLS provides a welcoming environment, we generally encourage you to attend your appointment by yourself to ensure that you and your lawyer can discuss your legal issues freely, which may include sensitive information.

If you need to bring children with you, our office has lots of toys and books for them to play with. If possible, we encourage you to bring along a female/non-binary support person who can supervise your children so that you can focus on your appointment and talk about anything you need without little ears listening.

Please let our staff know when you are booking your appointment if you will be bringing your child/children and whether a support person will be attending to supervise them.

Although we will try our best, it may not always be possible to accommodate children attending the appointment with you. This may mean that your lawyer is only able to give advice about some of the legal issues presenting during the appointment, and will follow-up with you in a further appointment, or by phone or email

TEWLS is committed to the provision of a safe environment for our clients to discuss their legal matter/s with our team. If you want a support person to attend your appointment with you, we can discuss this with you. We usually do not permit men to attend the appointment or wait in the waiting room.

We are focused on ensuring all clients feel safe and supported during and before/after their appointments, and that their privacy and confidentiality is maintained.

We can organise interpreters free of charge for all appointments, including Auslan interpreters. Please let our staff know at the time of booking if you would like the assistance of an interpreter.

At the time of making your appointment, either through TEWLS staff directly or through a caseworker or support person, we will tell you what, if any, documents, or information you will need to bring to your appointment.

Generally, you will not need to bring documents or other items to your appointment, except if you are seeking help with a particular item – for example, if you are seeking legal advice about a current Court Order, we will ask you to bring a copy of the Court Order with you to your appointment (or ideally, to provide this to TEWLS ahead of time). If it is safe to do so, you are welcome to bring notes to your appointment to help our team understand your situation. This might include diary records, screenshots or photos, or other reports/documents.

For more information about getting help from TEWLS, please see Our Process.

Of course! You are welcome to ask questions at any time during your appointment, including if you are not sure about the advice your lawyer is giving you.

Your appointment will be completely confidential, including any booking information, unless we are required by law to share information that you provide (such as under Mandatory Reporting laws).

Our Office

Is there parking at your office?

There is limited paid parking space available directly out the front of TEWLS’ office on Lindsay Street and nearby streets, including Woods Street and Shepherd Street.

Alternatively, there is free parking at the Woolworths complex on Cavenagh Street (two-hour parking). It is a short two to three minutes’ walk from the Woolworths complex.

The bus stop out the front of the Woolworths Supermarket on Cavenagh Street is the closest to TEWLS’ office. It is a three-minute walk from TEWLS’ office.

The following bus lines service this location: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 21, 22, 25, 28, Orbital 1 and Orbital 2.

For more information on bus routes and timetables to plan your journey on public transport, please visit here.

TEWLS’ office is located on the ground floor and is accessible by wheelchair.

If you have any specific accessibility concerns, please contact TEWLS’ by phone on (08) 8982 3000 or email to admin@tewls.org.au so we can provide further assistance.

Side Cta Leaf
Advancing Women’s Rights

Free legal help for women & non-binary persons

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Advancing Women’s Rights
Free legal help for women & non-binary persons
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“QUICK EXIT” BUTTON

The TEWLS website has a “quick exit” button in the top right-hand corner of the page.

This button will close the TEWLS website and open the Bureau of Meteorology website. You may need to use this button if you are worried that someone is watching you use the computer or that you have been looking at the TEWLS website.

The “quick exit” button does not delete your browser history. This means that if someone checks your browser history, they will be able to see that you have visited the TEWLS website.

MORE ABOUT HIDING YOUR HISTORY

Remember, deleting large parts of your internet history may be dangerous. This is because it may tell someone that you do not want your internet history to be found.

If you need help with online safety and/or technological safety, you can visit the eSafety Commissioner website here or you can call 1800 RESPECT on their 24-hour telephone counselling and support service. If you are in danger, you should call the Police on 000.

DO YOU SPEAK A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?

If you would like to speak to TEWLS with an interpreter:

You can call TEWLS on 1800 234 441 and ask to speak to us with an interpreter. We can organise this for free. You will need to tell us your name, your phone number and the language that you speak. We will then call you back with an interpreter on the phone.

TEWLS are able to organise interpreters for most languages, including Aboriginal languages and Auslan.

 

You can also organise for TEWLS to contact you:

To organise for TEWLS to contact you, please complete the form through the Request An Appointment button on the TEWLS home page.

DO YOU WANT TO ACCESS THE TEWLS WEBSITE IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?

If you would like to listen to the TEWLS website in an
Aboriginal language:

TEWLS has had four Top End Aboriginal languages recorded for this website. You can click the “play” button to listen to these recordings.

The languages that are currently available are:

  • Murrinh-Patha
  • Tiwi
  • Warlpiri
  • Yolngu Matha
 

If you would like to read the TEWLS website in a language other than English:

The TEWLS website is able to be translated to lots of different languages. To change the language settings, press the “English” button in the top bar of the website and choose the language that you speak.
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