Koori support

If you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, find out how we can help you at VCAT.

Artwork: Mick Harding, Taungurung artist

Koori Landing Page

Helping Aboriginal people come to VCAT

Our Koori Support Team have plenty of experience working in our community – for our community. We have culturally safe options to come to a VCAT hearing, including Koori hearing rooms you can book.

Get in touch

Call or text our Koori Helpline on 0417 516 335, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4.30pm.

Or email koori.support@vcat.vic.gov.au.

Watch our video to find out how our team can help you at VCAT.

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Prepare for your hearing

Watch a video to find out what happens at a hearing and how you can prepare.

Download transcript

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Book a Koori hearing room

If you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you can ask for a Koori hearing room at VCAT.

A Koori hearing room is a place where you can feel comfortable in your surroundings. It has been smoked and has Aboriginal flags, artwork and possum skin cloaks. An acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land can take place at the start of your hearing.

How to book

Call or text the Koori Helpline on 0417 516 335, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4.30pm or book now by email.

Let us know at least five business days before your hearing if you can.

Get Koori friendly advice

If you’re not sure about your rights, it’s a good idea to get advice early on.

These organisations may be able to help you. You can talk to someone, explain your issue and get good advice.

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Legal advice for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. Call 1800 064 865.

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)

Legal advice. Face to face Aboriginal community support in Morwell, Shepparton and Mildura. State wide support by phone.

Consumer Action Koori Help

Legal advice on utility bills, debt, payday loans and your consumer rights. Call 1800 574 457.

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Information and advice on your renting and consumer rights. Call 1300 55 81 81 and select the Koori option.

Office of the Public Advocate

Advice on supporting a person if they can no longer make decisions. Call 1300 309 337.

Help and support

  • If you’re affected by family or personal violence and the situation is urgent, call triple zero (000).

    VCAT has a family violence support worker to help you at VCAT. Our support worker can:

    • help you understand the VCAT process
    • help you fill out the application
    • connect you to other services for ongoing support
    • support you during the VCAT hearing and help you attend the hearing remotely so you can avoid contact with the other person.

    Contact our family violence support worker during business hours on 03 9628 9856.

    Read more about family violence support at VCAT

  • If you’ve been sent a copy of an application for termination of your rental agreement by your landlord, and you’re worried about eviction, the first thing to do is to speak to them.

    You may be able to come to an agreement without coming to VCAT. For example, work out a payment plan.

    If you get a notice or message from us telling you to come to VCAT, this means the landlord is asking us to make a decision about the situation. Don’t ignore this notice - it’s important you come to VCAT to have your say. You may even be able to reach an agreement on the day.

    If you are a tenant who is being taken to VCAT due to unpaid rent, use the financial circumstances statement to give us details about your financial situation.

    Find out more about what to do to respond to a notice from us

  • If you can’t come to VCAT in person or on the scheduled date for a serious reason (for example, you have a disability, are away or unwell) you have a few options. You can: 

    Template of written authority for someone to represent you

    Use this template to give someone authority to represent you. We call this person an ‘agent’.

    I, <NAME> (or Your Company Pty Ltd, if a company),, a party in the VCAT case reference number xxxxx/20xx wish to be represented at VCAT.

    I give permission for <representative's name and occupation> (add 'employed by the company' if you're a company) to represent me.
    The agent has sufficient knowledge of the issues in dispute and has my permission to bind me to any settlement.

    Date xx/xx/xx

    Signed:______________ Name:______________ Position:______________

  • What happens if you miss the hearing depends on if you’re the applicant or the respondent. 

    • If you’re the applicant and you don’t come to the hearing, the hearing can’t go ahead and your application may be dismissed or struck out
    • If you’re a respondent and you don’t come, VCAT may make a decision that affects you and can be enforced by a court.  For example, the member could make an order for costs against you. 

    If you have a good enough reason for not coming, and you didn’t have someone come for you, you may be able to apply for a review and rehearing (called ‘reopening an order’).  
     
    You need to make this application within 14 days of finding out about the order. There’s no guarantee that VCAT will agree. 

    Apply for a review and rehearing

  • If you believe paying VCAT fees would cause you financial hardship, you can apply for fee relief at the same time you apply to VCAT.   

    If we agree, this means we may: 

    • waive the fee 
    • reduce the amount you have to pay 
    • postpone the amount you have to pay.

     
    Any individual can apply for fee relief, including people who don’t have a concession card, but you must meet eligibility criteria. We’ll ask you to give us a summary of your personal financial situation to support your application. 
     
    You only need to apply once. Our decision applies to all VCAT fees you’re asked to pay in your case.

    Learn more about fee relief