A 21-year-old woman in a forced marriage to a violent man was helped to safety by Legal Aid ACT's Community Liaison Unit.
The girl, of South Asian background, was 17 when she was forced to marry a 43-year-old.
She sought help in Canberra after fleeing her husband and their home in Adelaide due to family violence. Her husband had threatened to send her back to South Asia to reclaim the dowry he had paid to her family for the marriage if she left him.
But the woman was at risk of being forced into another marriage by her family if sent home.
Through an interpreter, the Community Liaison Unit at Legal Aid helped her with her migration matter, and to obtain a Family Violence Order against her husband. They also connected her with social support in Canberra.
The woman had not been allowed to seek medical treatment while living with her husband, and upon a visit to a doctor in Canberra discovered she was pregnant.
She was granted a permanent resident visa to remain in Australia.
That story, outlined in Legal Aid ACT's 2018-19 annual report, illustrates the importance of the unit set up by Legal Aid to assist vulnerable and marginalised people in Canberra.
The unit, which has eight staff, recently won two separate awards for its work.
The first was an ACT Community Organisation Multicultural Champion Award at the Multicultural Awards in September.
The second was the national Diversity and the Law award, presented at the Australian Migration and Settlement Awards at Parliament House in October.
Community Liaison Unit supervisor Yasmin Elferkh said they were delighted.
"We were really, really ecstatic about it. It was amazing," Ms Elferkh said.
"We didn't know people noticed ... It validates the work we do and the people who have come before us to help set this up."
She said rather than strictly legal advice, they provided a holistic approach to a person's situation.
"People who need legal assistance, often their legal issue isn't in isolation, it usually comes with a whole lot of social, cultural and other issues," Ms Elferkh said.
"They might have issues of homelessness, money, they might be isolated, they might need counselling... If people aren't getting those things addressed, they often can't engage in the legal process very well."
"Whatever their legal issue is, they've got those added barriers of a system that is already hard, difficult and frightening to navigate."
The unit has two cultural liaison officers, two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander client support officers, family violence specialists and a man who works with perpetrators of family violence.
"We believe in access and equity for all, whoever it is," Ms Elferkh said.
She said the number of people they were reaching seemed to be increasing exponentially.