A new committee consisting entirely of Aboriginal lawyers, law graduates and law students, has been announced this week by the Law Society of Western Australia in a bid to advance the careers of Aboriginal lawyers.
The inaugural Aboriginal Lawyers Committee has been formed to encourage, support and advance Aboriginal lawyers, graduates and students and to facilitate communication with the legal profession and broader community on important issues for Aboriginal people.
The initial members of the committee include committee founder and director of Dwyer Durack Lawyers, June Kenny, Karen Ward, Tammy Solonec, Nicole Casley and Christie-Rochelle Annice, who meet monthly at the offices of the Law Society.
"There are about 60 Aboriginal law graduates from Western Australia that we are aware of who are making important contributions to the Western Australian justice system and community in general every day," Kenny said.
"Our committee is designed to bring these professionals together socially and professionally and to foster and build the skills of our law students, graduates and practicing solicitors."
The committee was established after Ward, Solonec and Andrew Matthews met with Law Society president Hylton Quail in early 2010.
The Society also announced it will be assisting the committee in its aim of establishing an Aboriginal Lawyers' Association of Western Australia.
"The Society is looking forward to the unique perspective that the committee can bring to issues facing the Society and particularly those that affect Aboriginal lawyers and students," said Quail.
"I encourage all Aboriginal lawyers and students to get involved with the committee in some way."
The committee is now calling for a further five members, including no more that two law students.