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Indigenous silk hopes to be first of many

The NSW Bar appointed Australia’s first Indigenous silk last week in the 2015 round of senior counsel appointments.

user iconLara Bullock 29 September 2015 The Bar
Anthony McAvoy, Frederick Jordan Chambers
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Anthony McAvoy SC of the Frederick Jordan Chambers is the first Indigenous barrister to be appointed senior counsel in Australia.

Mr McAvoy (pictured), who commenced at the NSW Bar in 2000, said that when he received the news that his application for silk had been accepted he was ‘ecstatic’ and ‘overwhelmed’.

“It’s a wonderful position to hold. I think it means most to me in terms of when I reflect on the difficulties and hardship that my parents faced, and I can imagine how my father would've felt had he been around today to enjoy it with me,” Mr McAvoy said.


“I'm involved as a mentor with a number of Indigenous law students and lawyers, and they are all such talented individuals and I hope to see the day very shortly when others join me as senior counsel.”

The Australian Bar Association president Fiona McLeod SC said: “Mr McAvoy’s deep commitment to Indigenous justice is widely known and respected. I am sure he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the legal profession long into the future.”

The Law Council of Australia president-elect, Stuart Clark AM, also congratulated Mr McAvoy on his appointment.

“Mr McAvoy has been an invaluable contributor to the Law Council’s work over a very long period of time,” Mr Clark said. “Long may he continue to contribute his knowledge and expertise to the Law Council and the nation.”

Mr McAvoy practises in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, criminal law, environment and planning, inquests/inquiries, discrimination law and public/administrative law with a particular emphasis on native title.

He has been a member of the association’s Human rights and Equal Opportunity Committees and has been the association’s nominee on the Law Council of Australia’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee since 2001.

In 2010 Mr McAvoy received the inaugural National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award.

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