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Our Reconciliation Action Plan

Holding Redlich recognises that we have a responsibility to take genuine action to engage in and promote reconciliation.

Acknowledgement of Country

Holding Redlich respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.  We celebrate the diversity, resilience and strength of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Our vision

Holding Redlich recognises that we have a responsibility to take genuine action to engage in and promote reconciliation. We are committed to taking meaningful steps to respect cultures, build relationships and create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We strive to be a culturally safe and inclusive law firm.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

In April 2019 we launched the firm’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Known as a ‘Reflect’ RAP, it involves scoping and deciding on a vision for reconciliation and preparing our firm for reconciliation initiatives and RAPs in the future.  The RAP provides a framework for us to support the national reconciliation movement by:

  • building respect and understanding of Aboriginal culture and communities 
  • building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations
  • developing opportunities to improve socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

The enactment of our RAP is being overseen by a Reconciliation Implementation Group.  We also have a Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group with representatives from all Holding Redlich offices to support the implementation of the RAP. 

Uluru Statement from the Heart endorsement

In March 2019 Holding Redlich issued a joint public response with 17 other law firms in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a national Indigenous consensus position on Indigenous constitutional reform, which includes a call for a First Nations Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Commonwealth Constitution. You can view the Uluru Statement from the Heart here.

The consensus reached through the Statement from the Heart was a major milestone in the journey towards constitutional reform.  The establishment of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body as a voice to Parliament would be a meaningful step towards reconciliation.  It would empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ensure that they have a greater say on the laws, policies and programs that shape their lives. Please see this article on the joint law firm response – Law firms back Uluru Statement in the AFR on 22 March 2019.

Our legal work

Holding Redlich has a long and demonstrable history of commitment to promoting human rights and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We have represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in some of the most important legal test cases in Australia, including:

  • North Kimberly land rights – we negotiated a diamond exploration deal between CRA (now Rio Tinto) and the Umbulgurri community in north Kimberly in 1985
  • Mabo proceedings – during the 1980s and early 1990s, our firm was the Melbourne agent for the Queensland firm acting in the Mabo litigation
  • Stolen Generations – in the mid to late 1990s, we represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from the Northern Territory in proceedings against the Commonwealth. This case, while unsuccessful, paved the way for future recognition of the Stolen Generations
  • bark etchings case – we represented three Aboriginal elders in seeking to keep in Australia two bark etchings and a ceremonial piece on loan from the United Kingdom
  • Northern Territory Intervention case – we represented an Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory and individual plaintiffs in a test case challenging the validity of the Commonwealth’s legislative intervention into Aboriginal affairs in the Northern Territory
  • breach of the Racial Discrimination Act – we acted for the plaintiffs in the successful action against Melbourne’s Herald-Sun Columnist, Andrew Bolt in 2012
  • promoting indigenous home ownership – we successfully represented two Torres Strait Islander people in Land and Supreme Court litigation in Queensland to facilitate the grant of long term residential leases over houses in the Torres Strait. This paved the way for a further 230 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to be granted secure tenure over their homes.

We often represent individuals and organisations seeking representative rights under State land use and cultural heritage legislation. We also have a very experienced Native Title and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage legal practice to assist our clients to comply with native title and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage laws.

Our partnerships

We have relationships with a number of community legal centres that provide legal assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including:

  • we have a strong commitment to supporting the arts through our pro bono program and a long-term relationship with the Arts Law Centre of Australia, a leading advocate for Indigenous artists. Through this relationship we regularly provide legal advice and representation to Indigenous artists and Indigenous art centres
  • through our relationship with Justice Connect and its Local Aboriginal Land Council Project, we frequently provide legal advice and representation to Local Aboriginal Land Councils in New South Wales.

We also provide legal assistance to a number of Indigenous organisations, including:

  • Wurundjeri Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group.

In addition to our legal work, as part of our commitment to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous businesses, we have formed an alliance with Indigenous law firm, Marrawah Law, a Supply Nation certified business with offices in Cairns and Brisbane.

We also have a partnership with Flying Arts Alliance to help showcase artists from across rural and remote Queensland, including many Indigenous artists. This includes sponsorship of the Flying Arts Alliance's Queensland Regional Art Awards.

Guy Donovan

Guy Donovan

National Pro Bono Manager

Melbourne

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