July 7-14 is NAIDOC week and the theme this year is Voice. Treaty. Truth. 2019 also marks the United Nations International Year of the Indigenous Language. When we explore these themes, we must take a historical approach and acknowledge that the Indigenous voice of Australia is over 65,000 plus years old, and despite the voice crumbling at times with alarming rates of suicide, incarceration and abuse, the voice is still proud and loud. As the NAIDOC website provides, we must also look to the traditional lore, culture and knowledge which is precious to this nation as it provides the very foundation of it.
Voice. Treaty. Truth. are also identified as the three key elements to the reforms set out within the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which can be read here. In 2017, the statement was formed and has garnered support from 21 firms (at the date of publication). We must also highlight the incredible pro bono work undertaken by many of the firms that involve the betterment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also note the Herbert Smith Freehills secondment to the Indigenous Law Centre that was of great assistance to Professor Megan Davis and her team. Below is a list of the firms that have supported the Uluru Statement from the Heart:
Allens Linklaters Arnold Bloch Leibler Ashurst Baker McKenzie Banki Haddock Fiora Clayton Utz Corrs Chambers Westgarth Dentons DLA Piper Fisher Dore Gilbert + Tobin Hall & Wilcox Herbert Smith Freehills Holding Redlich Jackson McDonald King & Wood Mallesons Lander & Rogers Maddocks MinterEllison Norton Rose Fulbright Russell Kennedy