It was an ordinary day at the Dandenong Duty Service for our tenancy advocate. She was sitting at the back of the court observing proceedings when she noticed a young woman enter the court with her child in a pram. The woman took at seat at the bar table and stayed silent, while the member read the material and directed all his questions at the agent. Just as he was about to make a possession order as the current rent arrears stood at approximately $3,500, the duty advocate stood up and alerted him to the fact that the tenant had arrived late and was in fact in Court.
Lily 27, recently had her four young children taken into care by the Department of Health and Human Services. She had limited family support and struggled with a number of mental health issues. Lily has experienced family violence from the fathers of her children and was vulnerable to alcohol addiction when self- medicating.