[by Denise Healy]
Dennis Remedio, Indigenous Liaison Officer; Judge Josephine Willis AM; Ricky Welsh, Community Member of the Access to Justice/ RAP Committee; and Chief Justice Alstergren. Image: supplied
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia releases Reconciliation Action Plan
In recognition of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s continued commitment to supporting access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Court has released its second Reconciliation Action Plan 2019–2021 (RAP).
The Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren said, “Today is the first day of Australia’s 2019 Reconciliation Action Week, and I am pleased to announce the release of the Court’s RAP. This Plan provides practical measures to promote reconciliation, and addresses some of the barriers faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in interacting with the Court.“From the day that the Court opened its doors, it has been committed to providing access to justice to all people of Australia.
This RAP demonstrates the Court’s continued commitment to the reconciliation process and dedication to improving the way it can better serve the community.
“I thank and acknowledge the Court’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access to Justice/RAP Committee for leading the way in this endeavour and for developing the new Reconciliation Action Plan. I also thank the Court’s Policy Officer and Indigenous Liaison Officer for their invaluable advice and assistance.”
The Federal Circuit Court was the first court in Australia to enter into a Reconciliation Action Plan which was originally released in 2014. Considerable progress has since been achieved, including:
Establishment of an Indigenous list in Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin and is proposed to be introduced in Melbourne.
Mentoring opportunities and engagement with Judges and the law profession have been provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students in various states.
The Court has hosted and participated in National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC events throughout Australia.
An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mediation model was launched in the Newcastle registry to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to resolve their parenting disputes.
Judges have established Aboriginal Family Law Roadshows and held public education forums on parenting orders with Kin Carers and other indigenous community organisations.
A Policy Officer has been employed and works closely with indigenous communities, including those in rural and remote locations.
An Indigenous Liaison Officer works with the Court in North Queensland.
Commitment to increase employment opportunities in the courts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Further details are outlined in the Court’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-21 which is accessible from the Court’s website: http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/rap.
Genuine representation and self-determination is key to a reconciled nation
[by Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie]
This Reconciliation Week the Australian Greens are calling on the Government to begin their term with a commitment to First Nations peoples to address Australia’s unfinished business, close the gap and achieve justice for First Nations peoples.
Kathy Mills says Australia's reconciliation efforts are making no progress
[Shahni Wellington and Emily Smith, ABC]
Kathy Mills wants to see Australians use their wealth of reconciliatory tools — from a simple handshake to the words "g'day cobber" or "fair go mate" — to ignite a change in the nation.
Canberra marks second ever Reconciliation Day public holiday
[Kate Medina, ABC]
The Government said the purpose behind the day was to create "a time for all Canberrans to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia."