The Government has introduced the Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award to recognise outstanding Indigenous lawyers.
In announcing the award, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minster for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin invited nominations for the award, which will close on 6 August 2010.
"This new annual award provides the opportunity to highlight the significant contribution made by Indigenous legal professionals to Australia's justice system," McClelland said.
The award will recognise outstanding Indigenous lawyers who have made a special contribution to the rights of Indigenous persons in the legal environment or who have an exceptional commitment to providing legal representation, advice or assistance.
The award will be announced by McClelland at the National Indigenous Legal Conference in Canberra on 1 October 2010. The recipient will receive $5,000 to further their professional development in the law.
The Law Council of Australia will assist the Government in the selection process by recommending a deserving nominee to the Attorney-General's department each year.
Law Council president Glenn Ferguson said the award was an excellent initiative and one the Council was very proud to be associated with.
"The outstanding achievements of Indigenous legal professionals must be recognised and celebrated by the legal profession and the broader Australian community," Ferguson said.
"Indigenous Australians are under-represented in the legal profession, something which the Law Council is committed to addressing," he said.
"By recognising the achievements of Indigenous lawyers, we honour those who inspire young Indigenous students to become lawyers."