The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has released its Reconciliation Action Plan as it moves to support access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The second RAP 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”.
It follows the Federal Circuit Court’s efforts in becoming the first court in Australia to enter into a RAP back in 2014. Since then there has been the establishment of an Indigenous list in Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin, with Melbourne next on the list; a policy officer has been employed, working with Indigenous communities in rural and remote locations; and an Indigenous Liaison Officer has been employed to work with the Court in North Queensland.
Judges have also established Aboriginal Family Law roadshows and held public education forums on parenting orders with Kin Carers and other indigenous community organisations, according to a statement from the court.
In unveiling the second plan this week, Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia the Honourable Will Alstergren said: “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,” he added.
“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.”