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Need professional legal help to assist you in resolving a family violence matter? Or assistance with an area of family law? What about resolving a tenancy dispute?

If you’re experiencing one of these legal issues in the town of Foster, or greater South Gippsland Shire, there is help available to you. Gippsland Community Legal Service are a team of experienced lawyers who can provide high quality, free legal advice to residents of Foster.

Whether you need legal advice for one of the matters mentioned above, or something completely different, GCLS are determined to help resolve your case.

Some of the prevalent issues that Foster residents experience include family violence, family law and tenancy disputes. In this post, we explain how the team at GCLS can assist you in all of these matters.

Family violence

Family violence is a considerable problem in Foster and the greater Gippsland area. In some parts of Gippsland, such as Latrobe Valley and East Gippsland, family violence rates are at two and a half times the average rate in Melbourne.

In the South Gippsland Shire, family violence rates thankfully aren’t as high as that, but they’re still above average. While the average Victorian rate of family violence incidents is 1364.7 per 100,000 people, the rate in South Gippsland Shire is 1775 per 100,000 people.

Gippsland Community Legal Service take all matters of family violence very seriously, and prioritise cases of family violence in the town of Foster and surrounds. If you’ve been experiencing family violence, the team at GCLS can help you with areas such as:

  • Intervention order advice before Court
  • Duty lawyers who can provide advice, representation and referrals on the day you have to attend Court
  • In some cases, assistance for respondents to intervention orders
  • Help with legal problems beyond intervention orders, including tenancy, parenting plans, debts, fines, infringements and more.

Foster residents who’ve experienced family violence should know that they are not alone, and that there are services available that can help overcome such problems. GCLS are here to provide experienced legal advice, completely free of charge.

Family law

Legal issues pertaining to families, such as separation, custody and child contact, can be incredibly stressful for everyone involved. The breakdown of one’s family involves not only parents, but children, grandparents and friends too.

Sadly, in Foster and surrounds, family law matters are often a result of other complications; family violence, financial abuse and mental health problems can all contribute to other family law issues such as separation.

GCLS care about your situation and provide legal advice on navigating family law and separation. The team at GCLS help residents of Foster with legal issues like custody battles, property settlement and divorce. Australia’s family law system encourages families to agree on arrangements without going to court and GCLS are determined to help you do this. Going to court is costly and sometimes unproductive for both parties involved.

Gippsland Community Legal Service can provide assistance to Foster residents who:

  • Want to make a property settlement after separation or divorce
  • Want to make arrangements for the parenting of their children
  • Need to apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for financial and/or parenting orders.
  • Want to apply for a divorce
  • Need help with other legal issues as part of relationship breakdown, including family violence, debts and financial stresses and tenancy issues.


Tenancy issues are also prevalent in the Foster area and are, hence, prioritised by the team at Gippsland Community Legal Service. These issues require immediate legal attention; otherwise, the potential impacts can include homelessness and a serious threat to personal safety.

Just like family legal matters, tenancy issues in Foster are often impacted by further problems such as family violence, financial abuse and separation. GCLS offer free legal advice to Foster residents who are experiencing tenancy issues as a result of these other problems.

Here are some common issues experienced by Foster residents:

  • Financial difficulties and struggling to pay rent
  • Eviction or challenging a notice to vacate
  • Having a dispute with your property manager or rental provider about repairs and maintenance of rental properties
  • Negotiating and dealing with a government or community housing agency about tenancy
  • Seeking compensation from rental providers who breach their duties under the rental agreement
  • Applying to and attending VCAT for your tenancy issues

Don’t put up with or ignore tenancy disputes that threaten your wellbeing; talk to the team at GCLS and gain the legal support you need to resolve tenancy disputes and live securely once again.

Mental health

Mental health is a serious concern in rural Victoria. People living in outer regional Australia, like Foster and the South Gippsland Shire, are more at risk of mental health issues than people living in major cities; the rate of mental health issues experienced amongst city and rural dwellers is the same (1 in 5 people), while there are significantly fewer support services available in rural Australia than there are in major cities.

Foster residents can turn to GCLS if they’ve been impacted by mental health issues and the law. Their services include:

  • Advance statements
  • Guardianship and administration
  • Representation at the Mental Health Tribunal

For free legal help, contact Gippsland Community Legal Service

Gippsland Community Legal Service have helped countless Gippsland residents, some of whom reside in Foster, GCLS are determined to help their local residents by overcoming legal issues. If you’ve got a problem that needs resolving, don’t hesitate to contact the team at GCLS.

Gippsland Community Legal Service