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Raising the Bar: Learning from the Life Stories of Indigenous Lawyers

Project Member(s): Watson, N., De Santolo, J.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Indigenous)
Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Indigenous)

Start year: 2024

Summary: It was not until the 1970s that individuals such as Mullanjeiwaka, Dr Pat O'Shane and Judge Bob Bellear became the first generation of Indigenous lawyers. Over six hundred Indigenous people have since followed in their footsteps. Today, Indigenous lawyers pursue test cases for the victims of stolen wages practices, represent native title claimants, and are leading the conversation on the proposed Indigenous Voice to the Parliament. Despite such contributions, the stories of Indigenous lawyers have been overlooked by scholars. In an Australian first, the project will gather the life stories of Indigenous lawyers. It will generate new knowledge about their career motivations, and how they are changing law and the legal profession.

FOR Codes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development and wellbeing, Professions and professionalisation, Expanding knowledge in Indigenous studies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the law, Legal practice, lawyering and the legal profession, Law reform