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Welcome to the final edition of the Indigenous Law Centre’s e-newsletter for 2013.  As always, the past 12 months has been a busy year for the ILC, filled with many challenges but also many fantastic achievements, including Professor Megan Davis’ re-election to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
In 2014 we have a number of new projects planned including the launch of a new look Indigenous Law Bulletin, the finalisation of our schools resource website and the release of a new set of
ILC Research Briefs covering issues such as mandatory alcohol treatment in the Northern Territory, NSW bail reform and township leasing. 
To stay up to date with all of our new projects, please ensure you check the ILC website regularly.
Before we sign off for the year, we would like to say thank you and farewell to our
Australian Indigenous Law Review Co-Editor Nicholas Mabbitt and our AUCCACS Co-ordinator Patty Veliz.  We would like to wish Nick all the best in his new role as a Tipstaff for Justice Hulme at the Supreme Court of NSW and Patty who will be working for Justice Robert Beech-Jones, also in the Supreme Court of NSW.
The ILC would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

Professor Megan Davis delivers the Michael Kirby Lecture for 2013
On the 11th of October, Professor Davis presented the Seventh Michael Kirby Lecture at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Lismore, coinciding with SCU’s School of Law and Justice 20th Anniversary.  Professor Davis’ speech was titled “Indigenous Australians and the Constitutional Project: The Politics of Discrimination, and Why ‘Recognition’ is not Enough”. 

Professor Davis spoke about the current constitutional reform process tracing the contemporary  ‘recognition’ project back to the early 1901 where the continent was experiencing two very different rituals: for Australians, a new Constitution and Federation and for Aboriginal people, the so-called ‘Protection era’ and being rounded up and placed on reserves. Professor Davis referred to one such reserve Barambah nowadays Cherbourg where the Expert Panel visited during their consultation. The lecture examined the recommendations of the Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and in particular explored the politics of racial non-discrimination in the current constitutional reform process and explained why “soft” recognition, the trend in State Constitutions, should be disavowed.
Acting Director Leon Terrill presents papers on land rights and land reform in Chile

In early October this year Leon travelled to Chile at the invitation of the Catholic University of Valparaíso and with the support of the Chilean Commission of Science and Technology.
Leon presented two papers during his trip. The first was on the Australian approach to the recognition of Indigenous land rights and formed part of a public forum organised by Professor Manuel Núñez, who was a visitor at the ILC earlier this year. Professor Núñez is currently undertaking a research project on Indigenous property rights under ILO Convention 169. The public forum attracted considerable interest, with over hundred people attending in person and a further hundred viewing the event as a webcast. Further details about the forum (in Spanish) can be found here.
Later in the week Leon presented a seminar to academics and higher degree research students at the Catholic University of Chile, in Santiago. The seminar was organised by Professor Sebastián López, a professor of international law at the University. This second paper was called ‘From Land Rights to Land Reform’, and dealt with the Australian Government’s introduction of Indigenous land reform in the period since 2006.
Leon hopes to maintain his connection with those academics and practitioners he met who are working on Indigenous legal issues in Chile.

Acting Director Dr Kyllie Cripps participates in Reclaim the Night Sydney panel discussion
Dr Cripps joined Cassandra Giudice and Zahra Stardust on a panel to discuss “violence against women in modern Australia” as part of Reclaim the Night events held on the 26th of November in Sydney this year.  The diversity of the panel members generated a unique and passionate discussion of a range of topics including gendered violence, the shift from gendered language describing violence against women, and the move to use the term “family violence” instead of “domestic violence”. Dr Cripps provided insight into the unique challenges faced by Indigenous women who experience family violence, including access to services.
Reclaim the Night is an annual international event that aims to actively campaign and raise awareness of violence against women.  This year’s Sydney panel discussion was held in conjunction with the University of Sydney Union.
Professor Megan Davis presents the Elliott Johnston Memorial Lecture 2013
On the 8th of October Professor Davis delivered the annual Elliott Johnston Memorial Lecture for 2013 at Flinders University in Adelaide.  Professor Davis’ presentation was titled “Putting meat on the bones of the UNDRIP: Letters Patent and regional governance”.

Since the endorsement of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) five years ago, Prof Davis stated that her focus has been on implementation – how are communities putting these principles into practice.  Throughout her lecture Prof Davis spoke about, and provided examples of, how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, through self-determination, have already been “putting meat on the bones” of the UNDRIP for some time now.  To illustrate this, Prof Davis in her presentation highlighted the work of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACHHO), and made specific reference to what has been achieved in South Australia, in particular the advocacy work regarding Letters Patent.
Dr Cripps leads talking circle on Indigenous child sexual abuse
On the 28th and 29th of October, Griffith University hosted an Interdisciplinary Workshop on Child Sexual Abuse titled “Looking Back, Looking Forward: The redress of harm and the prevention of child sexual abuse”.  On day two of the workshop, Dr Cripps and Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson led an Indigenous talking circle that focused on the lessons learned from previous inquiries into the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children. Specific discussion centred on the availability and appropriateness of healing and trauma support services for Aboriginal people, legal redress and justice for Aboriginal people who have experienced sexual abuse and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including ways in which recommendations from previous inquiries can inform the new Royal Commission.
ILC student news
The ILC would like to thank the student interns who joined the Centre during Semester 2 – Errin Walker, Amber Karanikolas, Sumer Dayal and Steven Gardiner.  Student interns worked on a range of activities within the Centre, including the Centre’s publications and we would like to wish them all the best for the remainder of their studies at the UNSW.

Errin Walker, our ILB student editor this semester reflects below on her time at the ILC
As a final semester law student I was eager to do something different in my studies, something outside the classroom and traditional black letter law, something challenging, and something I may not have the opportunity to do after graduation. The Publications Internship – Indigenous Law Bulletin (‘ILB’) was exactly the experience I was looking for and more.
During my time at the ILB, not only was I able to flex my referencing skills and edit academic articles, rather, I was involved across the breadth of functions involved in producing an academic publication. Every day was different, challenging and developed new skills. I sourced and liaised with authors, artists and other stakeholders to contribute to the ILB, wrote head-notes, web content and media releases, located potential subscribers to expand the ILB’s readership, researched court cases, news, and media items affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and proofed the journal for printing. Through this diverse and practical experience, my writing, editing, and research skills were greatly enhanced as were my administrative and organisational skills. This has given me great confidence in starting my future career.
One of the main highlights of the Internship is providing exposure to high quality academic works by eminent scholars on contemporary and challenging topics in the field of Indigenous legal issues. The ILB aims to be a practical resource for the community including, but not limited to lawyers, policy makers, researchers, and students. One of the ILB’s greatest attributes is its focus on disseminating complex matters affecting Indigenous people and the law for the benefit of the wider community—this is a key difference in comparison to other legal publications. Beyond the practical skills gained in the internship, this aspect of the internship—being involved in an organisation that contributes to community awareness and discussion about Indigenous legal issues—was an extraordinarily rewarding opportunity. A personal highlight for me also was the experience of locating, researching and contacting Indigenous artists who I was able to have feature artworks in the ILB. Seeing the final published product after all your hard work is indescribable reward.
If you want to have an internship experience with a difference, the ILB is the place for you.
Errin Walker, 3rd Year Juris Doctor Student, UNSW

For more information about the ILC internship programs, click here.

The Australian Indigenous Law Review will be publishing two issues early in the new year. Issue 17(1) will be a general edition, and will include an article examining the implications of the recent High Court decision of Akiba v Commonwealth for Indigenous governance of sea country. It will also include articles on: approaches to prison design in light of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; recent challenges to community-specific by-laws in Western Australian Aboriginal communities; and the recent history of, and the potential for, reforms to the Native Title Act. Issue 17(2) will be a thematic edition on the topic of ‘Formal Equality, Substantive Equality and Special Measures’. It will include a range of contributions from respected Australian and international scholars, and will reflect some of the diversity of thought that exists on this important issue.

Indigenous Law Bulletin (ILB)

The final edition of the Indigenous Law Bulletin (ILB) for 2013 features a wide range of important and topical issues from all over Australia. In Victoria, Adam McLean and Nick Testro discuss how the recent Dja Dja Wurrung Indigenous Land Use Agreement could pave the way for quicker settlements of native title. Greg Shadbolt, from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, shares his opinions on the Queensland Government’s proposed laws to allow repeat juvenile offenders’ names to be published. Also looking at young offenders is Indigenous lawyer, David Pheeney, who discusses the importance and potential of the Youth Offenders Act 1997 (NSW) in addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal juveniles in the criminal justice system. Former lawyer and University of New South Wales lecturer, Leon Terrill, examines the complex issue of home ownership in the Northern Territory; and we also take a look at the recent High Court case: Munda v Western Australia [2013] HCA 38. This issue, we’re thrilled to be featuring award winning artist, Gunybi Ganambarr. Gunybi hails from the Gangan homeland in North East Arnhem Land, NT and has an innovative flair for producing ground-breaking, yet sacred art. In 2011, Gunybi won the West Australian Indigenous Art Award; was awarded the Myer Foundation Creative Fellowship, and in 2012 was included in the National Gallery of Australia’s National Indigenous Art Triennial. I’m sure you will enjoy looking at some of his work which was kindly made available to us by Annandale Galleries.
Call for submissions

The Australian Indigenous Law Review also recently issued a call for contributions to our next thematic edition, which will be on the topic of ‘Indigenous Land Tenure Reform’. The closing date for submissions is Monday 2 June 2014. Email

If you are an academic, student, practitioner, part of a community organisation, or are simply concerned about issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the ILB wants to hear from you! We welcome contributions from Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors on a wide range of topics.  Email
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