Peak legal body moving forward towards reconciliation
6 July 2017
Queensland’s peak solicitor body has released the state’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for solicitors, during a launch attended by Indigenous Elders, government and judiciary representatives.
President Christine Smyth said that the plan was the first of its kind for the Society, which was established in 1883.
“This is a substantial step for the Society and the profession as a whole towards reconciliation in our nation,” she said.
“Through this plan, we aim to promote and model unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians.
“It is also about improving access to our legal system for budding lawyers who identify as First Nations Peoples along with supporting our current Indigenous lawyers and Indigenous people who work in the solicitor’s branch of the legal profession.”
The RAP was created by a working group comprised of solicitors, magistrates, legal students and Indigenous executives, with input from the wider profession.
“This plan incorporates not only the vast knowledge of Queensland solicitors, but also their passion for an inclusive and diverse profession.
“To my mind, diversity is more than gender and age. It encompasses culture and experience. Diversity and inclusion broadens our vision and strengthens our capabilities, and this underpins a greater community engagement.”
The RAP will look at three areas – profession, student and community – that the profession can address.
This will include focused advocacy work, support and opportunities for education and awareness in our community and will aim to address the overrepresentation of First Nations Peoples in the justice system and their underrepresentation in the profession.
“We look forward to taking these first steps towards a better future for all of us,” Ms Smyth said.
“I encourage others in our profession and wider community to look at the ways they can assist in promoting reconciliation.”
For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, email@example.com.