The Law Society is committed to the national reconciliation movement. We have long been committed to promoting ‘good’ law, pushing to ensure that any new law reform proposal takes into account the effect on vulnerable groups such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community.
The Society is committed to promoting equality for all Australians and supporting reconciliation. We believe that lawyers can play a meaningful role in the reconciliation process as they are well placed to be catalysts for change.
Indigenous Constitutional recognition
“I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose land we meet, and I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and also to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples here today.” This is the Acknowledgement of Country included at the beginning of all speeches given by our president.
Chris Donohue, current president of the Society, often also includes the following: “I would like to see the Australian Parliament, and through it, all the people of Australia, acknowledge and give respect to all of Australia’s First Peoples and all of its First Nations.”
In NAIDOC week this year, it was good to hear the newly appointed Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, appear to accept the recommendation as a means of ensuring indigenous peoples’ unique needs, wishes and aspirations are not swept aside by parliamentary indifference, and instead have the Federal Government take seriously the plea by Indigenous Australians to be recognised and heard as set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
National Indigenous Students’ Conference
The Law Society is a gold sponsor of the National Indigenous Students’ Conference, held in September 2019 in Canberra. Our sponsorship will allow an Aboriginal student to attend the conference at no cost. The sponsored student is Amanda Martin, who is a Gadigal woman studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce focused in Law/Economics at Griffith University in Brisbane.
Reconciliation Action Plan
The Law Society’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee produced the Society’s first ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which was launched in June 2018. The Law Society’s RAP is now published on the Reconciliation Australia web site.