FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto (September 22, 2015): Two Legal Services, over 16,000 kilometres from one another, are joining forces in an effort to continue to increase access to justice for Aboriginal communities. Australia’s Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services (VALS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto (ALST) today. Wayne Muir, the Chief Executive Officer of VALS was in Toronto to sign the MOU with ALST’s Board President, Amanda Carling.
In both Canada and Australia, Aboriginal peoples are one of the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups. In both countries, Aboriginal people are tremendously overrepresented in the criminal justice system. The agreement entered into today reflects a joint commitment to collaboration, information and resource sharing which will assist in improving outcomes for Aboriginal peoples in Ontario and Victoria.
Amanda Carling stated “we believe that entering into this MOU will strengthen both of our agencies’ understanding, knowledge and ability to increase access to justice for our communities. Our goal is to ameliorate conditions for Aboriginal peoples in Ontario and Victoria, in Canada and Australia and, ultimately, around the world.”
Wayne Muir stated “Both legal services have a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and practice resources that we can share with one another. Building off each other’s strength in practice experience benefits our clients.”
Contact: Jonathan Rudin, Program Director, ALST
Phone: 416-408-3967 x 226 or 416-616-0697
To learn more about these services visit
ALST’s website at http://www.aboriginallegal.ca
VALS website at http://vals.org.au