National Indigenous Legal Conference 2019
Integrating Indigenous Perspectives
13 & 14 August, Darwin
We are appreciative of our conference sponsors who make the NILC 2019 possible...
Main plenaries, breakouts, combined speakers, panels, workshops - attendees will have access to both the National Indigenous Legal Conference 2019 and the Indigenous Health Justice Conference 2019.
The final draft conference is available here and includes:
Perspectives from within the Royal Commission Into Youth Detention and Child Protection in the Northern Territory, then and now.
Health Justice Partnerships and collaborations between lawyers and health professionals.
Strengthening cultural competency in legal practice and law schools.
Languages and the law.
Indigenous lawyer perspectives of land rights legal frameworks, incarceration, treaty, justice agreements and constitutional reform.
Indigenous led programs to increase Indigenous access to law schools.
Galiwin'ku Law and Justice Project.
Perspectives from across the Northern Territory and ranging from our emerging leaders in law from regional and remote areas and perspectives of language speakers and Elders including Central Australia and the Top End.
WINKIKU RRUMBANGI NT INDIGENOUS LAWYERS
David Woodroffe is the Principal Legal Officer of the Northern Territory's largest legal practice the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). He has over 17 years criminal law experience for Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
He is a descendant of the Stolen Generation for Retta Dixon Home and Kahlin Compound. He is a respected advocate and manager of legal services to remote regions of the Northern Territory and in 2013 was awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year.
His main interest is the bringing about of a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture in the legal profession and improving the standards of advocacy involving Aboriginal witnesses and defendants. David demonstrates how knowledge of Aboriginal culture and legal expertise go hand in hand.
DIRECTOR @ ABORIGINAL JUSTICE UNIT, DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND JUSTICE
Leanne is an Arrernte woman born and raised in Alice Springs. Leanne has academic qualifications in Environmental Science, Law and Management, but she believes her most important knowledge has come from her grandmother and great-grandmother who taught her traditional land management skills, particularly in the use of fire.
Leanne has served other senior public service roles, including as the manager of Food Security for Aboriginal communities in South Australia, and the manager of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) and West Coast regions of South Australia within the Department for Premier and Cabinet. She was also the first Aboriginal policewoman in South Australia where she worked for 11 years as a Senior Constable in remote and city police stations. Leanne also worked on the international circuit; for the United Nations with stints in Geneva, New York and Paris with UNESCO, and as a Director for Bush Heritage Australia. She has published many scientific papers. Since returning to Darwin, Leanne has worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the Northern Land Council and the Principal Legal Policy Officer in the Department of the Attorney General and Justice, where she currently is now the Director within the Aboriginal Justice Unit that is responsible for the delivery of the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Justice Agreement.
PROFESSOR MICK DODSON AM
NT TREATY COMMISSIONER
Professor Dodson AM is a highly respected Aboriginal Advocate who has spent his working life fighting for the rights and interest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Born in Katherine, Professor Dodson AM is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the Traditional Aboriginal Owners of land and waters around Broome. He was chosen as Australian of the Year in 2009.
Professor Dodson AM is a long term barrister and lawyer and specialises in Native Title and human rights. Most recently he has been Professor of Law at the Australian National University and Director of its National Centre for Indigenous Studies.
He has been a visiting academic at the University of Arizona and served as Chair of Australian studies at Harvard University.
Professor Dodson AM was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, is a former CEO of the Northern Land Council and in 1993 was appointed the country’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, a post he held until 1998.
Professor Dodson AM has been a prominent advocate of land rights and other issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Australia and globally and has served as the Pacific member on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
DR PAT MILLER AO
DEPUTY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR
Dr Patricia (Pat) Miller AO was born in Alice Springs and has lived in Central Australia all her life. Dr Miller is a member of the well-known Liddle family which has both traditional and pioneering ties in Central Australia. Over her life, she has made an inestimable contribution to the legal, social sporting and higher education development of Central Australia and the Northern Territory.
Dr Miller was appointed the as Deputy of the Administrator of the Northern Territory in 2002. As Deputy of the Administrator she carries out a range of ceremonial duties in behalf of the Administrator in Central Australia.
Dr Miller is a Native Title Holder, within the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation which represents Arrernte Native Title Holders and was the Chairperson of Lhere Artepe Enterprise. Dr Miller has served on the committees of governance of numerous regional organisations. She joined the Board of Management of the Centre for Remote Health in 2008 as a member representing the Alice Springs community. Over this time, she has worked tirelessly to promote higher education and the development of Flinders University active within the region and with the Northern Territory.
Dr Miller has received many awards which acknowledge her contributions to the local community and the Northern Territory. These include: NAIDOC Aboriginal of the Year, awarded for her commitment and contribution to Aboriginal Affairs in 1995; the Centenary of Federation Medal, awarded in 2003 for service to the community as a member of many organisations and groups; and the Rotary Paul Fellowship, also awarded in 2003, in appreciation of the tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world.
Dr Miller was made an Office of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2004 and, in 2006, Charles Darwin University conferred on her the Doctor of Letters honoris causa 2006 and a Degree of Doctor of the University, Flinders University 2012.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
@ NORTH AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL JUSTICE AGENCY
Priscilla Atkins is Eastern Arrernte from Central Australia and mother of 6 children and grandmother to 8.
Priscilla is the CEO of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency which is the largest legal services in the Northern Territory providing high-quality and culturally appropriate legal aid services for Indigenous people in the Top End. She is fully engaged in pursuing the rights of Indigenous people through law and policy reform.
As the previous Deputy Chairperson of National ATSILS, Cilla aims to work towards gaining justice for Indigenous people and keeping their culture, tradition and law strong.
Cilla won Northern Territory Businesswoman of the year for the 2011 community and government sector.
Cilla was featured in a book in 2014 called “The Climb” written by Geraldine Doogue on the 14 top women leaders in Australia.
She holds a Master of Arts in Producing and is included in the 2008-2015 edition of Who’s Who of Australian Women. In 2017 Cilla was a state finalist for the Australian leader & Excellence Award.
Previously Cilla was the CEO of the CAAMA Group, the largest Indigenous owned and operated multimedia organisation in Australia. She managed the commercial enterprises of the CAAMA Group through Radio Broadcasting, Remote Indigenous Broadcasting, Independent Music Label, Film and Television Production Company, Shops and Television Broadcasting.
Cilla actively promoted Indigenous culture, language, dance and music worldwide.
Cilla worked with the Australian Indigenous Communications Association in establishing the National Indigenous Television Service.
She was also the Executive Producer and Creator of the first Indigenous children’s television series called Double Troubleproduced for a commercial network, Channel 9, and Disney. “Double Trouble” was nominated for an AFI in 2008 for “Best Children’s Drama”.
Cilla was previously on the NT Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council and was a Board Director on Indigenous Business Australia, Chairperson of the Indigenous Australian Indigenous Communications Association, Board Director of Imparja Television, National Indigenous Television Service and Indigenous Screen Australia.
During the Royal Commission Into Youth Detention and Child Protection in the Northern Territory the consistent feedback from across young people in detention is the positive and engaging work of Adam Drake.
An advocate for young people and a long-term Territorian, Adam founded Balanced Choice in 2014 to improve outcomes for young people in the justice system.
Drawing on his 20 years' experience in the fitness industry together with his training in acting and directing, Adam has designed unique programs that tie together fitness, team building and psychology to help troubled children make positive choices.
FOUNDER @ BALANCED CHOICE
Using a method called Hope Theory with the detainees at the Don Dale Detention Centre, Adam gives the children an avenue to share their goals and discuss ways to achieve them. Meeting with senior politicians, Adam is advocating for a mentoring program for troubled youth.
CHRIS RONALDS AO SC, JOSHUA CREAMER, LEX WOTTON
speak about WOTTON V QUEENSLAND (No 5)  FCA 1457
Chris Ronalds SC - appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the law and the legal profession, particularly in supporting, mentoring and developing the careers of Indigenous lawyers and law students, Chris specialises in discrimination and harassment law, employment law and administrative law. Her practice also extends to intellectual property, commercial litigation, family provision and related equity matters, and she has particular expertise in the private education sector and its interaction with regulators.
Chris has conducted several landmark discrimination cases and has played an instrumental role in the development and passage of the Sex Discrimination Act1984 (Cth), and in the passage of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth). She has also assumed other significant roles, including appointment as legal policy advisor at Federal and State level on various grounds of discrimination and aged policy, and has appeared as Counsel Assisting the Commission in several ICAC Inquiries.
Joshua Creamer - Joshua is Waanyi and Kalkadoon, and specialises in large and complex matters usually involving at least one indigenous party. His practice includes class actions (representative proceedings). Joshua is ranked in Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific 2018 for his work in the native title jurisdiction. In 2017, Joshua was the recipient of the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award and was appointed to the Board of Legal Aid Queensland. In 2016 he was recognised by Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific as one of Australia's Outstanding Young Lawyers.
Since 2013, Joshua has been a member of the Griffith University Law School Visiting Committee. He is also a member of the Equal Opportunity Subcommittee and the Indigenous Barristers Subcommittee of the Bar Association of Queensland. In 2013, Joshua received the Griffith University, Outstanding Arts, Education and Law, Young Alumnus of the Year Award. Since 2012, Joshua has been consistently ranked by Doyle's Guide as one of the leading Native Title barristers in Australia.
Lex Wotton - In 2013, Lex Wotton, as well as his wife Cecilia and Mother Agnes, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Aboriginal people who lived on Palm Island against the State of Queensland and the Commissioner of the Police Service, alleging that the police had committed acts of unlawful racial discrimination in the investigation into Mulrunji's death in custody and in the subsequent police response to the unrest in the community. The Wottons' legal team included Lex Wotton's long-standing lawyer, Stewart Levitt of law firm Levitt Robinson Solicitors, as well as prominent anti-discrimination barrister Chris Ronalds SC, Aboriginal barrister Joshua Creamer, and Queensland barrister Shaneen Pointing.
JAMES PARFITT COMMUNITY LEGAL EDUCATOR @ NORTH AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL JUSTICE AGENCY
James Parfitt (Fejo) is a Larrakia and Wurrumungu man from the Northern Territory.
James is currently studying law and currently works as a Community Legal Educator with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, and is a representative for Indigenous students on the CDU Law Students’ Society.
James is the co-founder of Bilata Indigenous Legal Pathways program. Previously, Mr Parfitt worked as Community Engagement Officer with the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
James has extensive networks across communities in the Top End and demonstrates best practice community engagement
SENIOR LAWYER @ SOLICITOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
Stephanie Monck is a local Kungarrakan/Warramungu woman. Stephanie studied for a Bachelor of Laws at Murdoch University (WA), and while studying, held various positions with the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre, tutored in the Kulbardi Aboriginal Tertiary Entrance Course, and was the student support officer for Indigenous students enrolled in mainstream tertiary studies.
After completing her Degree, Stephanie joined Murdoch University as a Lecturer in Law, and co-ordinated their 2002 Koora Kuditj Pre-Law Program.
From July 2007 to October 2015, Stephanie had her own legal practice specialising in Criminal Law. During that period Stephanie was also contracted by the Kimberley Land Council and WAARDI Limited to facilitate Native Title meetings, and has also assisted in evidence gathering for the Warralong Community of the South East Pilbara region in support of their application for Native Title determination.
Currently, Stephanie is employed with the Department of Attorney General and Justice in the Litigation Division of the Solicitor for the Northern Territory, and is a Director of Winkiku Rrumbangi NT Indigenous Lawyers Aboriginal Corporation.
DR JAMES GAYKAMANGU
SENIOR LEADER @ GUPAPUYNGU CLAN
James Gurrwanngu Gaykamangu from Milingimbi in North East Arnhem Land was born in December 1947. James was authorized by the Gupapuyngu clan, with the full sanction of the Yirritja moiety in Ngarra Law (Aboriginal Customary Law), to bring understanding to non-Aboriginal Australians about the Madayin Yolngu system of law. In doing this, James necessarily works with non-Aboriginal legal systems. In this capacity, James worked as a legal and medical interpreter, achieving the highest level of NAATI accreditation for an Aboriginal interpreter (level 4).
Later working for the department of Justice, James worked extensively in the Katherine region looking at ways to prevent domestic violence working with the community. Aboriginal Customary Law implements the true justice by integrating Indigenous Perspectives in parallel with health and justice issues. Aboriginal Customary Law also strengthens cultural competencies in legal practice, languages and law. As well as strengthening legal practice in a bilingual content. Ceremony originates from the Land, to people. Competency comes from the Land, Ceremony and people.
To date, James has sought and received support and collaboration with the Northern Territory Department of Justice, the former Chief Justice of the Northern Territory Supreme Court, the Honourable Trevor Riley, the (then) speaker of the Northern Territory, the Honourable Jane Agaard, the (then) Leader of the opposition, the Honourable Terry Mills, the Law Society of the Northern Territory and the (then) President of the Law Society Mr Matthew Storey, Charles Darwin University and in particular its Law school under the leadership of Professor Les McCrimmon and the Northern Territory Law Journal and its editor, Mr Cameron Ford. James Gaykamangu is an Associate of the Charles Darwin University Law School’s Customary Law Project.
TONY MCAVOY SC
AUSTRALIA'S FIRST INDIGENOUS SILK (SENIOR COUNSEL)
Appointed Senior Counsel in 2015, Tony has developed a strong native title practice and has successfully appeared for claimants in several land claims. He has also acquired significant experience in the areas of environmental law, administrative law, human rights and discrimination law, coronial inquests and criminal law.
Notably, between 2011 and 2013, Tony was an Acting Part-Time Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Tony was Senior Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
On 7th August 2018 he was named QUT Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and also received the Faculty of Law’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.
LAWYER @ LEGAL AID NSW
Teela Reid is a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman and solicitor at Legal Aid NSW. She has experience practicing in criminal, civil and administrative law. She was born and raised in Gilgandra western NSW and comes from a family of advocates in the NSW Land rights movement.
Teela completed her postgraduate Juris Doctor from UNSW Law Sydney and was named on the UNSW Law Deans Women of Excellence List. Upon graduation, Teela was appointed tipstaff to her Honour Justice Lucy McCallum in the NSW Supreme Court. Teela was the first Aboriginal person to be elected on the UNSW Law Society as Vice-President (Social Justice), where she was the founding director of the UNSW Law First Peoples Moot. She was also the Inaugural recipient of the NSW Indigenous Barristers Trust award.
Teela was involved as a working group leader on s 51(xxvi) in the Constitutional dialogue process that culminated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Previously, Teela was Australia’s Female Indigenous Youth Delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum in New York that inspired her journey to become a lawyer.
In 2017, Teela was selected to attend Harvard University as a global Emerging Leader. On her return to Australia, Teela fearlessly took Prime Minister Turnbull to task on Q&A after his dismissal of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
A/ SENIOR SOLICITOR & CO-LEADER OF CIVIL LAW SERVICES FOR ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES @ LEGAL AID NSW
Merinda Dutton is a proud Barkindji and Gumbaynggirr woman and solicitor at Legal Aid NSW. Merinda was raised in Grafton in NSW. She graduated from University of New South Wales in 2013 with a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Jurisprudence.
She has experience practicing as a general civil lawyer, as well as experience in native title and land rights. Since joining Legal Aid in 2014, Merinda has provided advice and assistance to Aboriginal people in communities throughout NSW. Merinda also worked with the Aboriginal Women Leaving Custody project at Legal Aid, providing advocacy for Aboriginal women in prison relation to housing.
Merinda is acting as the senior solicitor and co-leader of the Civil Law Service for Aboriginal communities at Legal Aid NSW.
YINGIYA MARK GUYULA
INDEPENDENT MEMBER FOR NHULUNBUY @ NT LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
Yiŋiya Mark Guyula MLA comes from North East Arnhem Land. He is a Liya – Dhalinymirr Djambarrpuyŋu man, of the Yolŋu Nation. In 2016 he was elected as the Member for Nhulunbuy. Based in Milingimbi he travels extensively throughout his electorate working with his constituents.
Among his people he has the title Djirrikaymirr (Judge) and he is an authority on the Yolŋu traditional system of law called Maḏayin. His clan is one of a number of groups responsible for the oversight of the Indigenous central governance institution of Ŋärra. Maḏayin law comes from the Ŋärra system and has maintained peace, justice and harmony in East Arnhem Land for millennia. This blance is greatly threatened by ongoing colonisation, which in turn is destabilising Yolŋu culture. For this reason, Yiŋiya is fighting for acknowledgment of the authority of Yolŋu law and governance.
Prior to his current role he has worked as a senior lecturer in Yolŋu studies at Charles Darwin University and as a support worker with the Northern Regional Council of Congress. He is also worked as a NAATI accredited interpreter.
As a young man he was the first Yolŋu person to obtain his pilot license and trained as an aircraft mechanic.
LAWYER, LINGUIST, LECTURER IN LAW @ CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY
Ben Grimes is a lawyer and linguist who specialises in communication issues in the legal system and cross-cultural legal education.
Ben worked as criminal lawyer and community legal educator with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) in the NT, including two years based in Nhulunbuy. Ben developed a particular focus on incorporating Aboriginal law into therapeutic sentencing options, community courts, and working with Law and Justice groups in remote communities. Following his time at NAAJA, Ben worked for the NT Government Aboriginal Interpreter Service, where he managed 50 full-time staff and 350 casual interpreters across the NT, developed legal training for Aboriginal interpreters, established the Bush Court interpreting system used in the NT, and lead the NT Government project to interpret and record suspects' rights into 18 Aboriginal languages for use by NT Police.
Ben has been a major contributor to numerous protocols and policy documents such as the NT Law Society Indigenous Protocols (2nd ed), the NT Supreme Court Interpreter Protocols, the NT Local Court Interpreter Protocols, the NT Police General Orders on Interpreters and Translators, Guidelines for communicating rights to non-native speakers of English in Australia, England and Wales, and the USA, and the Plain English Legal Dictionary (NT Criminal Law). Ben regularly delivers training and consultancy services to judicial officers, court staff and legal organisations on improving communication with people from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Ben has an MA in Applied Linguists, speaks a number of languages and is involved in bilingual education and language advocacy in the NT and in West Timor, Indonesia, where he lived with his family for four years. Ben is currently a law lecturer at Charles Darwin University, where he runs the Indigenous Pre-law and Mentoring Program and teaches units including Criminal Law, Customary Law and Indigenous Peoples and the Law.
Trevor John Riley was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in September 2010. At the time of his appointment he was a Justice of the Supreme Court having been appointed to that position in 1999. He retired as Chief Justice on Monday 4 July 2016.
Chief Justice Riley was a member of the Northern Territory Bar Association having signed the Roll of Counsel in 1985. Chief Justice Riley was a Northern Territory solicitor from 1974 to 1985.
Chief Justice Riley was appointed as a Queen's Counsel in 1989. He was President of the Northern Territory Bar Association from 1993 to 1997 having been Vice President from 1989 to 1993. He was Junior Vice-President of the Australian Bar Association in 1993 to 1994.
Chief Justice Riley is a former Vice-President of the Northern Territory Law Society and a former Councillor of that Society. He is a former member of the Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee, the Law Reform Committee, the Public Purposes Trust and the Legal Practitioners Admission Board. He is a former part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the Northern Territory University and he is an occasional lecturer in Advocacy.
THE HON TREVOR RILEY QC
CO-CHAIR OF THE REFERENCE GROUP @ BILATA LEGAL PATHWAYS PROGRAM
THE HON JENNY BLOKLAND
JUDGE @ SUPREME COURT
Jenny Blokland was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in April 2010.
At the time of her appointment, Justice Blokland was the Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory, having held that position since 2006. Prior to that, Justice Blokland had been a magistrate in the Northern Territory.
Justice Blokland holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Laws and has 29 years experience as a legal practitioner.
Between 1981 and 1990, Justice Blokland was employed with the Northern Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Commonwealth Legal Aid Service in Darwin working principally in the areas of criminal and family law.
Justice Blokland worked as a lecturer and was appointed Dean at the Northern Territory University Faculty of Law. She was appointed Director of Policy at the Department of Justice and worked as general counsel with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Bryce is a proud Wiradjuri man who grew up in Tamworth NSW on the lands of the Gomeroi people. Currently, Bryce is completing his PLT with the NSW Public Defenders following recent completion of his tertiary studies from the University of New England.
Bryce has a strong passion for Aboriginal human rights and social justice. He is currently a director on the board of the Union of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students.
He has experienced the traumatic effect of the injustices of the criminal law system on his family and community. This drives his passion for self-determination of our mob to carry out and practice our own laws in our own way.
BRYCE WILSON PRACTICAL LEGAL TRAINING @ UNSW PUBLIC DEFENDERS
BENEDICT KNGWARRAYE STEVENS
APMEREKE-ARTWYE (TRADITIONAL OWNER) @ MPARTNWE (ALICE SPRINGS)
Benedict Stevens Is a Traditional Owner (Apmereke-artweye) of Mparntwe, Alice Springs.
Benedict’s father’s country of Mparntwe Alice Springs, where he’s the third generation, and his mother’s country is in Yamba.
He has examined the knowledge of the past, and how important it is to culture and knowledge relevant in this century. In his words, “The most important thing for us is to keep passing on our cultural to the coming generations.
Benedict was a part of the Desert Knowledge Australia 2007 Leadership Program in Alice Springs.
Benedict is an active member of the Mparntwe Alice Springs and serves on many boards such as:
Tangentyere Board as the president for Hidden Valley Town Camp
Board of Director IAD
Board of Ingkerreke Outstations Resource Service and a
Board with the Central Arrernte Alliance Corporation Cultural Authority Group.
LABI GUMBULA INTERPRETERS SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT
Labi started as a casual interpreter later becoming a Community Based Interpreter. Two years later he completed his Diploma in Interpreting and became accredited with NAATI.
Labi is a Level 4 Interpreter in Djambarrpungu (Yolngu Matha). Labi comes from Galiwin'ku / Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land. Labi is currently an Interpreters Support & Development Officer and says he is 'enjoying every minute of it'.
Labi continues to assist with interpreting in practice. He says 'I will never get sick of this work', and that 'I look at it this way, I come to work, talk in my native language Yolngu Matha to professionals and the government pays me for it.'
OFFICER @ ABORIGINAL INTERPRETER SERVICE
DR CURTIS ROMAN
SENIOR DIRECTOR @ ABORIGINAL INTERPRETER SERVICE
Curtis is a Larrakia man born and raised on Larrakia country.
He is Senior Director at the Aboriginal Interpreter Service. Prior to this he was a senior lecturer and head of school at the Charles Darwin University where he supervised PhD students conducting research on Indigenous topics, published papers and delivered a wide range public seminars.
He is the first Indigenous man to be awarded a PhD from CDU.
MANAGER, LAW AND JUSTICE PROJECTS @ NORTH AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL JUSTICE AGENCY
John is Larrakia and Anmatjerre and was born in Darwin and mainly grew up there attending Darwin High School and Charles Darwin University. Until aged eight he lived at the Ranger station behind Uluru and briefly at Kakadu before his father passed away. As an adult he lived in Alice Springs for several years.
John is the Manager of the Law and Justice Projects section at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). Prior to this he worked in various legal roles and in leadership development. John is a Director of the Larrakia Development Corporation, the Northern Territory Primary Health Network, Winkiku Rrumbangi NT Indigenous Lawyers Aboriginal Corporation and is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee and Indigenous Incarceration Working Group.
John is the Chair of the Smith Family’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group. He has extensive board and committee experience including former Board Member for the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (sacred site authority for the Northern Territory, 2013-2015) and former Alderman of the Alice Springs Town Council (2008-2012) and Deputy Mayor of Alice Springs (2009-2010).
John has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies from Charles Darwin University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Australian National University. His admission was moved by Larrakia lawyer Nigel Browne at the Supreme Court in Alice Springs in June 2012.
John is co-chair of the working group for the National Indigenous Legal Conference 2019.
NADYEZHDA DILIPUMA POZZANA
A/ TRAINING COORDINATOR @ ABORIGINAL INTERPRETER SERVICE
Desiree is a Birri Gubbi/ Wakka Wakka woman with Tongan descent who was born and nurtured in Sydney on Gadigal Land. Desiree is currently completing her PLT with the NSW Public Defenders following the recent completion of her tertiary education at UNSW.
Desiree has a strong passion for social justice and has worked in both the health and legal industry. She worked at the Poche Centre of Indigenous Health (USYD) and was a social worker at St Vincent’s Hospital. She was also able to intern with the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and the Australian Law Reform Commission.
She believes that self-determination, respect and empowerment should be the foundations of justice.
DESIREE LEHA PRACTICAL LEGAL TRAINING @ NSW PUBLIC DEFENDERS
I have worked in many NT and Federal Government Departments, communication has always been at the heart of my roles. I joined AIS in 2014 because I wanted Aboriginal people to access services in their own languages. Speaking your first language is a human right and Aboriginal people find it difficult when accessing services they are faced with a dilemma because they can’t communicate effectively and freely express themselves like our fellow Australians who are English only speakers.
Linda is a qualified and practiced Company Director, a Nationally Accredited Mediator (specialising in First Nations dispute resolution) and is the Executive Director of CALM - Cultural Advocacy and Legal Mediation - a Cultural Inter-sectional Change Agency established to expertly guide Law firms, community legal centres and corporate entities navigate their cultural safety challenges, leverage their diversity and inclusion measures to ultimately elevate their corporate social responsibility impacts.
Linda is an academic at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where she supervises final year university students from a variety of disciplines to undertake a Clinical Legal Program in the Aboriginal Community of Cherbourg. A program of engagement originally designed and developed by Linda in 2012.
Linda is the immediate past President of the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland, having been the original ILAQ student representative when the organisation was first established in 2006.
Linda currently the Chair of the QLS First Nations Advancement Policy committee, a member of the QLS Equity and Diversity committee and serves as the Queensland delegate on the Equity and Diversity committee of the Law Council of Australia.
The amplification of the voices and perspectives of First Women is key to Linda's advocacy commitment - diversity being more than merely a gender issue. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander equitable access to justice, education and economic advancement (through First Nation entrepreneurial excellence) comprise some of Linda's many grassroots, community and volunteer contributions.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR @
CULTURAL ADVOCACY AND LEGAL MEDIATION
Linda is an Aboriginal woman of Birrigubba (Bowen Qld) and Kamilaroi (Monaro NSW). Linda has been involved in the area of Indigenous Affairs since the 1990's and is an admitted solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia.
ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER @ DJIRRA
Antoinette Braybrook is an Aboriginal woman who was born in Victoria on Wurundjeri country. Antoinette’s grandfather and mother’s line is through the Kuku Yalanji, North Queensland.
Antoinette is the CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria – FVPLS Victoria), a position she has held since the service was established in 2002. Djirra is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation which provides holistic, culturally safe and specialist legal and non-legal support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence – predominantly women. Djirra also designs and delivers important, community-based early intervention and prevention programs and undertakes policy and law reform work to improve access to justice, strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s resilience and reduce vulnerability to violence.
LECTURER @ SCHOOL OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND
Marcelle Burns is a Gomeroi-Kamilaroi first nations’ woman and lecturer at the School of Law, University of New England (UNE). She has over twenty years’ experience in the field of Indigenous peoples and law, working as both as a lawyer and academic. Her legal professional experience includes working as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, and in private practice assisting in native title and land rights claims.
As an academic she has contributed to developing Indigenous inclusive legal curriculum at UNE, Queensland University of Technology and Southern Cross University. Her main research interests include the recognition of First Nations in international and domestic laws, and the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and cultural competency in legal education.
From 2015-2018 she was the Project Leader for the Indigenous Cultural Competency for Legal Academics Program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education of Training. Marcelle is also a member of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium and the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial (Armidale Branch).
Marcelle’s contributions to Indigenous legal education, research and legal practice were recognised by her being awarded Southern Cross University’s School of Law and Justice Alumnus of the Year in 2017. Her work on Indigenous cultural competency in law curricula was acknowledged by the UNE Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Research in 2018.
DR. HANNAH MCGLADE
SENIOR INDIGENOUS RESEARCH FELLOW @ CURTIN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Hannah McGlade is a Noongar human rights advocate and researcher. She is the Senior Indigenous Research Fellow at Curtin university, a Tribunal member with the Mental Health Tribunal WA and a member of the Medical Board of Australia . She has written and published widely on human rights issues including race discrimination, women and children’s issues, Aboriginal healing and social justice. The author of ‘Our Greatest Challenge, Aboriginal children and human rights’ which received the Stanner award for excellence in Aboriginal research,
Hannah is also an advisor to the Noongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council, a board member of Aboriginal Family Law Service and Djinda Family Services. She has led the establishment of legal support services for women and children in WA and has used her legal qualifications to support many test cases in the area of race discrimination and human rights, most recently in the area of Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making. In recognition of her extensive work in the Aboriginal community in human rights, she was appointed the 2016 Senior Indigenous Fellow of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and she continues to participate in UN Forums.
DR HERON LOBAN
SENIOR LECTURER IN LAW @ GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY
Dr Heron Loban is a Torres Strait Islander academic, lawyer and expert in consumer protection. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in law at Griffith University. She is also a Director of Desert Knowledge Australia and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. Heron was previously a Director of the Centre for Appropriate Technology, which has offices across northern Australia and in that role advocated for the technological needs of Indigenous people. Heron was Member of the ABC Advisory Council until 2017.
Jonathon Hunyor is the CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. He has practised for over 22 years as a lawyer in NSW and the Northern Territory in areas including criminal law, discrimination and human rights, migration and refugee law and Aboriginal land rights.
Jonathon’s previously roles have included Principal Legal Officer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Darwin from 2010-2016, Director of Legal Services at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and lawyer at the Central Land Council in Alice Springs and the NT Legal Aid Commission in Darwin.
Jonathon is a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University, has taught discrimination law at the University of NSW and has published widely in academic and professional journals.
CEO @ PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE
ANDREA MASON OAM
ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VIOLENCE, ABUSE, NEGLECT AND EXPLOITATION OF PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY
Ms Mason is a visionary leader with many accolades to her name including 2016 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, 2017 Northern Territory Australian of the Year and in the same year, Alice Springs Centralian Citizen of the Year.
A Ngaanyatjarra and Kronie Australian woman from Western Australia, Ms Mason has built a reputation and career grounded in deep respect for the voice and collective determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She is driven to shine a light on the challenges that communities face and to elevate solutions from within these places, just as she did co-chairing the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council from 2017-2019, where she advised on key policy areas including the Closing the Gap Refresh.
During her renowned career, Ms Mason has worked in Indigenous Affairs in both the public and community sector, working in a variety of roles from executive through to support. Her biggest career highlight so far has been working with the women of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) region in central Australia, as CEO of NPY Women's Council.
As CEO from 2009-2019, she saw first-hand a service, support, advocacy and influencer model designed by those living with disability, as well as supporting their family members. She saw family members and people with disability using their voice to ensure services met their needs, as well as how advocacy can be used by members to raise issues, keep systems accountable and navigate governments and institutions.
Ms Mason feels strongly that the principle of truth telling, made known through the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017, can offer other Australians who are seeking to be heard a way to harness change. Bringing stories from the fringe to the centre, is one way the nation can be held to account and to inspire change.
During her life, Ms Mason has experienced discrimination, racism, affirmation action, special measures and positive discrimination. She has also experienced the ordinary rights of being an Australian Citizen. It is through these experiences that she has seen the enabling power of listening with an intent and how to see a world beyond ambivalence and inaction.
As a Commissioner, Ms Mason will listen deeply to people with disability and their families as they share their stories concerning violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, including members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
ARTHUR MOSES SC
LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA
Arthur Moses SC has been practising at the NSW Bar for over 25 years and, in 2008, was appointed Senior Counsel in the state of NSW. He is the immediate past President of the NSW Bar Association and has been a Director of Law Council since July 2014.
He practises in a wide range of areas including administrative law, coronial inquests, corruption inquiries, proceeds of crime litigation, military law, work health and safety prosecutions, employment and industrial law, discrimination, restraints of trade, commercial, equity and appeals in all jurisdictions.
Mr Moses regularly appears before the Supreme Court of NSW, the NSW Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia as well as appellate Courts in other states and territories. He is a Squadron Leader in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve.
COMMISSIONER @ NT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMISSION
Ms Sally Sievers has been a lawyer in the Northern Territory since 1988; and the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner nad Principal Community Visitor in the Northern Territory since January 2013.
In the last six years Sally has focused the Commission's activities in the areas of Race and Disability Discrimination and gender equality, and the intersectionality of these potential vulnerabilities.
Rosalie Kunoth Monks is an Arrernte Anmatjere woman
from the Northern Territory.
Born on Utopia Station, Rosalie moved to Alice Springs. At 16 she played the lead role in the film, Jedda. The film was the first to feature an Aboriginal person in a lead role. After 10 years in a Melbourne convent, Rosalie settled in Alice and started a career of over 50 years in human rights and politics.
Rosalie is passionate about Aboriginal people having access to their land, language and culture. Her contribution at local and national levels is vast, including Advisor on Aboriginal Affairs in the NT, to Trailblazer for the Oxfam Straight Talk program.
Rosalie has received countless awards, including an Order of Australia Medal, Northern Territorian of the year and finalist for Australian of the Year.
Still a household name from her many television appearances, Rosalie remains one of the most powerful voices for change in Aboriginal Australia.
ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS OAM
SENIOR LEADER OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA
SENIOR INDIGENOUS FELLOW @ MELBOURNE LAW SCHOOL
Eddie is a Larrakia, Wadjigan, Central Arrente man from the Northern Territory, and completed a Bachelor of Laws in 2002 and Masters of Laws (International Law and International Relations) in 2009.
Admitted as a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, professional positions include NT Legal Aid Commission in the areas of Commercial Law, Family Law, and Litigation, as well as Aboriginal Lands and Correctional Services with the Department of Justice. In 2002 he was elected to the ATSIC Yilli Rreung Regional Council, and subsequently became the Chair of that Council. Mr Cubillo is a former Chair of both the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) and the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (NT).
In 2010 Mr Cubillo was appointed the Anti – Discrimination Commissioner of the Northern Territory and then after his term was appointed as the Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS). In 2015 Eddie was announced as the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year. Eddie is currently completing his Phd.
REV DR DJINIYINI GONDARRA CHAIR @ ARNHEM LAND PROGRESS ASSOCIATION
Rev Dr Djiniyin Gondarra OAM was born in Yurrwi (Milingimbi), eastern Arnhem Land in 1945 and was educated at the Yurrwi Mission school. He trained as a Minister in PNG and the Solomon Islands in 1969, and then ministered in the Galiwin’ku Parish from 1971-1982. Rev Gondarra was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature (Arizona) in 1991 and the Order of Australia Medal in 1995. He has written and spoken extensively on Yolngu law and governance and Yolngu Nation Assembly . He has been the chairman of ALPA since 1993. ALPA has grown to become the largest Indigenous corporation in Australia, with over 1,000 staff.
He has been CEO, Director and Chairperson of numerous organisations. Rev Dr Gondarra is a Djirrikay in the Yolngu Madayin legal system and is integral in key Yolngu institutions/ceremonies such as Ngärra, Makarr Dhuni, Mawul, and Gunapipi.
In addition to Antoinette’s leadership in Victoria, she has held the elected position of National Convenor of the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum (National FVPLS Forum) since 2012. The National FVPLS Forum is the peak body for the 14 FVPLSs throughout Australia.
From 2016 to 2018, Antoinette was the Co-Chair of the Change the Record Campaign. Change the Record is an
unprecedented national coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, human rights, legal and community organisations that was established to end the disproportionate rates of imprisonment and violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Antoinette was awarded the 2015 Law Institute of Victoria: Access to Justice/Pro Bono Award, the 2017 Inspirational Women of Yarra Award, and a 2015 Australian Centre for Leadership for Women award for Sustaining Women’s Empowerment. In 2018, Antoinette was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal.
Brenda Muthamuluwuy is a Birrkili Gupapuyŋu Yolngu woman from Galiwin’ku Community (Elcho island ) in Northeast Arnhemland. Brenda worked with (ALPA) Arnhemland Progress Association 2015 in Darwin, and then transferred to Galiwinku community until 2000. She worked at Shepherdson College in Galiwin’ku and played an active role in support of her community/School and often performed the role of bridge builder for cross-cultural conflict and negotiations for ten years. In 2012 she was appointed as an administration/Project officer for Masters of Indigenous Knowledge of Mawul Rom at CDU. Since 2015 she has been teaching Yolŋu languages and culture in the Yolŋu Studies program.
BRENDA MUTHAMULUWUY TEACHER, YOLNGU STUDIES & LANGUAGE @ CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
Carol Christophersen is a Murran woman, who has close kinship connections with Cobourg Peninsula and Kakadu areas in West Arnhemland. Born in Darwin with schooling in both Darwin and Kakadu, her childhood is rich with lessons in country which led to becoming an Aboriginal advocate. While growing her family, Carol moved to study at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies she worked for the Northern Land Council for 16 years, in Anthropology. Carol’s passion is advocating for Aboriginal land owners in the protection of country in the face of development and impacts on country and culture and says, “I have learned, the Rights that were won by those before us, and that we enjoy today, must never be taken for granted.”
Relevant to this discussion, in 2011, Carol co-shared an Inaugural Fellowship with the London Natural History Museum in London, working in the Human Remains Department of the Museum on Repatriation. Here she imparted her knowledge and gained a greater understanding of the history of the British, their laws, policies and practices of institutions that continue to hold Aboriginal remains.
Carol was a member for the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) for 6 years and served 3 years on the Federal Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation (ACIR). Today Carol is working with the University of Melbourne on the Donald Thomson Collection Agreement Review and is responsible for research and planning the consultations across Cape York, Arnhem Land and the Western Desert of Central Australia.