Financial Rights Legal Centre
Hotline
Call our National Debt Helpline
on 1800 007 007.

Aboriginal Advice Service

We offer advice and advocacy for consumers in financial stress.

Who are we?

The Aboriginal Advice Service is a free legal advice service about money matters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from anywhere in a Australia. We specialise in the law about consumer loans (like credit cards, pay day loans, car loans and home loans), banking, debt recovery and insurance (like car, home, travel, life, funeral, pet insurance).

Financial Rights Legal Centre is a specialist community legal centre. We are a non-government, non-profit organisation. We provide information, advice and assistance to individuals and also argue for a fairer financial services market for consumers, particularly low income and disadvantaged consumers.

To read more about our Centre go to About Us.

How we can help you?

We provide free telephone legal advice about credit, debt, banking and insurance.
In some cases we may assist you further by:

  • Negotiating with your bank, insurer or other lender/debt collector
  • Helping you to argue your case in a free external dispute resolution service (like the Financial Ombudsman Service)
  • Representing you in court (only rarely).

We may also refer you to other organisations which may be able to help you, particularly if you have a matter in the court of a State or Territory outside NSW (where our office is)

Your Privacy

The Financial Rights Legal Centre is a confidential service.

We will ask for your personal details and details about your problem (such as the name of the debt collector, and the amount of the loan) so that we can give you the right advice. We will keep this information so that we can see what we have talked about before if you ring us back. We will also use it to call you back if we realise there is something else we can tell you to help you.

We will not share this information with anybody
outside this service.

We will not provide this information to the government and other funding bodies except as anonymous records of how many people have called us, their general characteristics (male, female, postcode, language etc.), and the sorts of problems they have called about.

You can read our Privacy & Confidentiality Policy here.

Contacting Us

Legal advice is available by talking to one of our solicitors over the phone by calling 1800 808 488. Sometimes our Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator may answer the phone. He will talk to you about your problem and get one of our solicitors to call you back.

If you are having difficulty getting through to us, please be patient and persistent – we are a small service with limited resources and we are often very busy! You can leave a message and we will call you back.

Legal Resources Available online

Although we are currently developing some targeted legal resources for Aboriginal people that you will be able to print from our website, they are not yet ready. There are general resources under Fact Sheets on this website. We also recommend that you visit ASIC’s website with money tips for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/indigenous

Need an Interpreter? or have a hearing disability?

Interpreters are available by calling 131 450, and for the hearing or speech impaired, we recommend the National Relay Service which is a service provided by the Australian Communication Exchange (TTY) 133 677 (SRS) 1300 555 727.

If you are having difficulty contacting our advice service because of a disability or problems using an interpreter service, please let us know on our administration line (02) 9212 4216.

What you should do before you call?

If possible, get any paperwork about your problem ready so that you can tall us what it says.

For example:

  • Letters received
  • Bills and account statements
  • Court papers
  • Contracts

Please have a PEN and PAPER handy, as we will often give you phone numbers to call or websites to visit.

Problems we can’t help with

We can’t help if you are ringing about:

  • A business (e.g. a business loan or insurance
    taken out to protect a business)
  • An investment (or a loan or insurance taken
    out to buy or protect an investment)
  • Home Warranty Insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP/Greenslip)
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Public and Product Liability Insurance
    Health Insurance
  • Landlord’s Insurance
  • Pleasure Craft
  • Strata Insurance
  • Motor vehicle accidents where no one is insured

If you are ringing for someone else, we will only be able to give you very general information. If possible you should encourage the person who has the problem to call us themselves, or to be there with you and able to talk to us too.

Artwork

Artwork by Aboriginal Artist Pauline Coxon

Aboriginal Artist Pauline Coxon used to be a Tenant Advocate, and in 2016 she created this brilliant painting about consumer and financial rights issues. The Financial Rights Legal Centre commissioned her to paint the story of our services. We’re so happy with the painting and the powerful messages it contains! Thanks Pauline. If you would like to learn more about Pauline, please visit her website: paulinecoxon.com

Graphic Design by NGNY

Ngakkan Nyaagy (NGNY) is a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated Digital Agency. NGNY digitally designed all the artwork on this webpage based on Pauline’s painting at the top. Find out more about this amazing company at ngny.com.au 

The Story behind the Painting

The use of Meeting Circles, natural Earth Ochre colours and message sticks/clap sticks are an important theme for the message of the Financial Rights Legal Centre.

The FRLC connects with the Aboriginal Community, with a visual presentation that tells the story.

The inner circle is the logo Financial Rights $ Legal Centre designed in yellow ochre and red ochre dot art. A clear simple design that is easy to read.

A design of six meeting circle’s orbits the inner logo.

Each circle represents the diversity in the people/clients accessing the FRLC service.
From single mum and child, to a same sex couple, an average family, a single person, a small family and people with a disability.
Each meeting circle is connected to the inner circle. This represents communication and connection to FRLC.

The flow of the circles goes in and flow out. The message sticks surrounding the meeting circles also represent communication. The design of the waves represents sound waves, communication waves. The message and information of the FRLC reaching out to the Aboriginal Community.

Another 6 meeting circles continue out, going clockwise the 1st image is

  1. Contract: This is an important image as most people in financial difficulty are bound with a contract. Understanding a contract is very important and often in Aboriginal communities where English is not the 1st language Contracts are not understood.
  2. Computer/technology: This image represents our society today even in remote Aboriginal Communities. We have in some capacity access to digital Technology. A good online information system is crucial for cultural understanding. The FRLC can reach everyone in the community with information, and can be utilised as one form of getting the message out.
  3. Hand: The symbol of the hand to Aboriginal people goes back to our ancestors leaving their hand prints in Ochre on our cave walls. This was our signature of who we are. The symbol of the hand is many things. The FRLC also lends a hand to people in need of assistance.
  4. Phone/Calculator: This image represents a mobile phone and can also be interpreted as a calculator. Today we can use APPS on our mobile phones to access information. The use of the calculator is an important tool as Aboriginal people become familiar with using these tools to manage our money. Like learning a new language, the language of money is still a new skill that a lot of Aboriginal people need to know. Financial knowledge is not part of our oral or spiritual history. This is a new path for us all to learn. The FRLC can assist in information about your financial rights.
  5. Key: The FRLC is the key to unlocking your financial questions.
  6. Feet: The FRLC will help you get your feet back on the ground. Sound financial legal advice will keep you grounded.