RAILS is an independent not-for-profit organization working with volunteers to provide free legal advice, assistance and community education to disadvantaged people. It advocates in cases of most need before the Department of Immigration, review tribunals and, on occasions, to judicial review. The Service has a demand that far exceeds its resources and takes on only those highest priority cases with most merit.
RAILS began in 1980 as a volunteer advice service at the then Brisbane Migrant Resource Centre. It did not receive government funding until 1984 (a grant of $8000), when its first staff member was employed part-time. The Service operates under a community management committee and is staffed by a director, principal solicitor, caseworkers, and financial and administration workers with support from a large team of dedicated volunteers.
The Service has assisted thousands of refugees and their families since 1980 from countries suffering from the major political humanitarian crises of our times and works closely with other support organizations to provide a network of support for the most vulnerable clients. RAILS has provided advice and assistance to a wide range of people, including onshore and offshore refugees and asylum seekers, migrants, sponsors of migrants, migrant women suffering from domestic violence, Australian citizens seeking to sponsor relatives in need, spouses and employees.
RAILS is funded mainly through Commonwealth and State Legal Aid funding and since 1996 funds have also been received from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Immigration Advice and Application Assistance Scheme (IAAAS) for disadvantaged people. Many other supporters and volunteers contribute to making RAILS one of Queensland’s most effective and worthwhile community organisations.
Robin Lonergan (Chair)
Kathleen Dare (Secretary)
Belinda Taylor (Treasurer)
Peter Billings (Member)
Russell Hinchy (Member)
Nitra Kidson (Member)
Jo Rinaudo (Member)
Hiwa Zandi (Member)
Greg Mackay, Director
Bruce Wells, Principal Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent
Robert Lachowicz, Education Officer, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent
Karina Fonseca, Administration and Finance Officer
Mei Wong, Finance Officer
Jeannette Aldunate, Receptionist
Primary Application Information Service (PAIS)
Susan Hogarth, PAIS Project Coordinator, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN
Jee-Yeun (Valentina) Jung, PAIS Caseworker, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1792218
Unrepresented Asylum Seekers Project (UAS)
Neha Vaidyanathan, UAS Project Coordinator, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN
Imke McCall, UAS and RFR Caseworker, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1686564
Nardine Abdou, UAS Paralegal
Grace Gatbonton Prince, Registered Migration Agent MARN 0639454
Bunu Gautam, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0701880
Taya Hunt, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1276633
Kylie McGrath, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0801787
Tim Madigan, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1573726
Noel Reeves, Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1462135
Rachael Molnar, IAAAS Paralegal
Our solicitors and migration agents are bound by the Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents Code of Conduct
On 22 August 2012, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie, announced a review of the allocation of funding from the Legal Practitioner Interest on Trust Accounts Fund (LPITAF).
Updated 13/10/2016. Karina F.R.