Queensland Law Society

Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement Committee

 RFNAC Update regarding the December, February and April (May) Meetings

The Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement Committee (RFNAC) have met in December 2017, February 2018 and May 2018.

The December meeting was attended by special guest Dr Wayne Sanderson, who informed the committee of his various State and Federal associations and provided insight into the current landscape of Youth Justice. Dr Sanderson also shared international perspectives regarding youth justice, which he elicited from the Criminal Justice Association of Ontario Conference.

The February meeting was attended by special guest presenters Dr Janet Hamill (Aunty Jan) from the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and Adjunct Associate Professor Jennifer Cullen, CEO of Synapse. Aunty Jan, and Ms Cullen provided insights into the debilitating effects of FASD and the intersection between invisible disabilities the criminal justice system.

The Committee noted that the Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generation event was well received. Our special presenters, Uncle Bob Anderson did the welcome to country and the honourable stories of Dr Aunty Ruth Hegarty entered the minds of all in attendance where she explained her life as living in the dormitories of Cherbourg, and cleverly drew on the parallels of their treatment and the law. All committee members were thanked for their presence.

 During the May meeting, the Committee supported the RAP 101 checklist to encourage law firms to implement reconciliation initiatives to move towards adopting a Reconciliation Action Plan.

 The Committee noted QLS’ submission on the Policy Statement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Justice, the input for which had been discussed at previous meetings.

 RFNAC has submitted 12 positions to policy reform since October last year. This has required a significant amount of work and effort. The Chair thanked the Committee members who have contributed thus far.

In addition to the significant input the Committee has provided to QLS Advocacy submission, the Committee will soon provide comment and direction to the Children’s Law Committee on the Children’s Policy Position as it impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The Committee recognised the generous contributions of committee members and welcomes any expressions of interest from members who believe they will add valuable insight to the Committee.

The next meeting is scheduled for late June.


QLS Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement Committee meeting update – 10 October 2017

History was made on 10 October 2017 with the Society’s inaugural meeting of the Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement Committee (RFNAC). The Committee was created to further our commitment to our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The Committee’s purpose is to advocate for and raise awareness for reconciliation and advancement of First Nations community and legal interests. The Committee is comprised of First Nations practitioners and legal professionals all across Queensland. The Committee is busy developing and exploring ways to engage with community. The Committee acknowledges that October is Indigenous Business Month and encourages everyone to get involved. The Committee will meet again in December.