A quiet revolution
Health Justice Australia was formed in 2016 to support health justice partnership, a practitioner-led movement that was transforming the way some health, legal and other services were helping people with complex, intersecting needs.
This movement saw community lawyers moving out of their offices and into the most unlikely of places – hospitals and community health settings. Here, they collaborate with health services and their patients to address legal problems that were harming their health. Problems like poor quality housing, family violence and mental ill-health.
Without the addition of a lawyer to their care teams, many of these people never would have considered asking for legal help, or even recognised they had legal needs that needed addressing. Integrating lawyers into health spaces helps prevent these issues from progressing until they reach crisis point.
Health Justice Australia was established to learn from services working collaboratively and to share those lessons with other service providers, policy makers and funders.
Health justice partnerships are busy on the ground doing great work, but there are many system barriers that limit their expansion and effectiveness. We understand and amplify the innovations made by individual health justice partnerships and translate the lessons into system-level solutions that respond to complexity in people’s lives.
We strive to reshape health and legal service systems so they are better able to respond to people’s needs.
In turn, this will lead to improved health and wellbeing for people, particularly vulnerable groups facing complex, intersecting problems.
Our goal is to improve how health, social and legal service systems respond to complexity in people’s lives and its impact on poor health.
We do this through our role as a knowledge hub by connecting research, experience from practice and policy advocacy.
Our theory of change
Some people are held in disadvantage by complex, intersecting health and legal problems.
Siloed service systems struggle to fully address this complexity and limit effective, integrated responses in the way they currently operate.
We can move towards more effective responses to complex and intersecting problems by:
- bringing together practitioners from different systems
- building the evidence about how best to influence system drivers
- collaborating with those designing, working in and accessing health and legal services
What we do
We’re connecting the evidence, expertise and experiences of a diverse range of professionals, researchers and communities to explore partnership to address inequities in health and justice.
We work to build the confidence, skills and readiness of health and justice practitioners, advocates and leaders to work together towards better outcomes for their patients and clients.
We’re working towards lasting systems change through reforms to policy settings, service design and funding.