Last week DLA Piper held events at its Sydney, Brisbane and Perth offices to address the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
To mark National Reconciliation Week 2016, DLA Piper hosted a panel discussion and screening of the award-winning documentary Prison Songs in its Sydney office on 1 June.
DLA Piper’s Brisbane office also screened the documentary, and its Perth office hosted a similar event on 2 June with the film's director, Kelrick Martin.
The panel in Sydney included Public Interest Advocacy Centre CEO and incoming Australian Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow, Magistrate Sue Duncombe from the NSW Youth Koori Court and Aboriginal advocate and youth worker Keenan Mundine.
The panel shared their insights and explored the alternatives to imprisonment, and how corporate Australia can be involved in supporting new solutions.
The discussion was followed by a screening of Prison Songs, which was filmed entirely behind bars in Darwin’s Berrimah prison.
The stories portrayed in the film expose the tragedy behind the shockingly high prison rates of Aboriginal people; the underlying poverty, disadvantage and discrimination faced by many Aboriginal communities; and the lack of basic services and support systems available to them.