Indigenous Law Bulletin
For this issue, we set out to have indigenous people write about their experiences working in the law.
A range of different people contributed articles: a lawyer working in government, a solicitor in private practice, a legal academic, a person working with law and the arts, and two law students (who also have worked in the legal field). All the articles in this issue are written by indigenous people.
We hope that these articles will bring new and interesting information to you about the issues that indigenous people are dealing with as they work in and around the law.
The establishment of this organisation, through the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (Cth) is in process. Membership is open to all indigenous lawyers, law students and para-legal field officers in NSW and the ACT. Associate membership will be open to non-indigenous people. The organisation aims to address current indigenous legal issues and to provide a legal support network for indigenous people.
Contact: Kevin Williams, Aboriginal Education Program, UNSW, ph: (02) 9385 3805, or Trevor Blencowe, Aboriginal Law Centre, UNSW, ph: 9385 2850.
The Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW and Fr Frank Brennan are sponsoring Australia's very first on-line petition to the Senate. The petition will be presented to the Senate by Senator Stott-Despoja in the first week of the next sitting of the Senate (late August/early September). The petition can be signed on-line by simply filling out the form at www.autlii.edu.au/unsw/centres/ilc/
Please sign this petition and pass the details concerning its location on to anybody whom you feel would be interested. Signing this petition constitutes a direct and unambiguous statement to the Australian Parliament that any decision made concerning indigenous peoples in general, and native title in particular, should be just, fair, non-discriminatory and promote reconciliation.
At present the petition is several weeks old and has just over 3,000 signatories. Please maintain the current pressure and add your voice to this call to the Senate,
A new film, Mabo - Life of an Island Man, premiered at the Sydney Film Festival on 13 June. The 90 minute film, made by Trevor Graham and Denise Haslem, tells the story of the man behind the case, through his own written records, through film and video footage, and through the recollections of his family and others who knew him.
Watch out for the film in the theatres and in film festivals. It is currently scheduled for screening on ABC Television on 20 August 1997. For inquiries about the film, contact: Film Australia, ph: (02) 9413 8777, fax; (02) 9416 9401.
The 700 page Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families is now available. The contents are compelling.
Copies are $59.95 (no postage cost if ordered through Canberra) and can be obtained from the Australian Government Publishing Service at GPO Box 84, CANBERRA ACT 2601 Fax orders to AGPS: (06) 295 4888 Ph(toll free): 132447 (24hrs) http:/ /www.hreoc.gov.au/hreoc/ sepabor.htm
Join the fun in this celebration at Yarra Bay House, Elaroo Ave, La Perouse, 7-12 July, everyday, 9am-3pm. There will be bushtucker, dancing, exhibits, games, a sausage sizzle, arts and wafts, and information booths on the CES, DSS, Health and Neighbourhood Watch.
The Indigenous Law Bulletin regrets an inadvertent typing error in which Rover Thomas' name was spelled incorrectly. In the June 1997 Stirrings article, 'The authenticity fable', by Marianna Annas, Mr Thomas was named as 'Roper' Thomas. We apologise to Rover Thomas, who is a senior Aboriginal artist of immense distinction, and to Marianna Annas.