Health Justice Partnerships

Bringing the legal and health sectors together to end elder abuse.

Justice Connect has established several health justice partnerships (HJPs) in Victoria and NSW to help older people experiencing elder abuse and other legal issues.

What is a Health Justice Partnership?

Health Justice Partnerships are when a lawyer is embedded in a healthcare setting to reach out to people who may need legal help and not know it.

Many people view legal problems as life problems. They may not be able to afford a lawyer, or they may not know they need a lawyer in the first place. Instead, they’re more likely to talk to someone they trust, like their doctor, nurse, or physio.

By training healthcare professionals to identify potential legal risks or issues, we can empower them to refer clients to free legal help. Getting the right legal help at the right time has positive benefits for the entire community, as well as great health and well-being outcomes for our clients.

Who do we work with?

In Victoria, we partner with cohealth, a community health centre in Melbourne’s north-west, Caulfield Hospital (part of Alfred Health), and with St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy.

In NSW, we partner with St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney (incorporating St Joseph’s Hospital, a sub-acute hospital in Sydney’s west and St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst), and Uniting War Memorial Hospital in Waverley.

By incorporating a lawyer into a health care team, the partners aim to improve legal and health outcomes for older clients by:

  • minimising the incidence and impact of elder abuse
  • articulating and demonstrating a Health Justice Partnership model of practice

How do I start an HJP?

The HJP Toolkit has been created as a general guide to lawyers, health and welfare practitioners interested in setting up an HJP. The HJP Toolkit introduces the concept and provides a step-by-step guide for establishing an HJP, drawing upon recent Australian experiences.

We’ve included case studies as practical examples for each step. We’ve also included contact details to open conversations between those in the early stages of starting an HJP and those who have implemented a partnership.

Download our Health Justice Partnership Toolkit
Health Justice Partnership Toolkit Download PDF (8 MB)

Read our reports and see our impact


Health Justice Partnerships two-year report Download PDF (246 KB)
HJPs and Elder Abuse in the Western Metro: Demographic Analysis Download PDF (407 KB)
Health Justice Partnership one-year report Download PDF (2 MB)
HJPs and Elder Abuse in the Northern Metro: Demographic Analysis Download PDF (431 KB)

Hear from our clients

The best way to understand our impact is to hear from the people we help.

Margot overcomes elder abuse

She left the hospital knowing she had a right to feel safe in her own home.

Read Margot's story
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