Cultural diversity & Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander lawyers
QLS has established its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group to develop a RAP for QLS and aims to support a legal profession where there are no cultural barriers to entering and participating in the profession.
A 2011 paper entitled ‘Growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law Students: Barriers to the Profession’ by Phillip Rodgers-Falk estimated that by 2009, there have been about 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law graduates in Australia’s law schools. QLS acknowledges the role that the peak legal professional body in Queensland must play in improving access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyers.
A 2010 national survey of employees by the Diversity Council of Australia showed that racial harassment in the workplace was more common than sexual harassment, with about 10% of Australian employees having experienced workplace racial harassment or discrimination in the previous 12 months. It also revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people born overseas, were more likely to experience cultural discrimination in the workplace.
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The Lawlink Programme was established by QLS in 2003 and aims to bridge the cultural divide between Indigenous law students and the legal profession.
Students gain insight into the profession through formal and informal meetings and site visits to law firms, barristers' chambers, community legal centres and various courts. While at the same time, members of the profession have the benefit of experiencing student led discussions and presentations at participating law firms.
The most recent LawLink event was hosted by Queensland Law Society on 24 October 2017.
Another LawLink session will take place during Semester 1, 2018.