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Indigenous opportunities


Cite as: March 2011 85(3) LIJ, p.27

To foster greater interaction with Indigenous organisations by the legal community, the LIV has collated a list of organisations seeking specific assistance from lawyers and legal firms. This can range from considering an Indigenous recruitment company when next hiring staff, to donations, fundraising, mentoring or even tree planting. The list is also available online at

Aboriginal Employment Strategy

Suite 16, 2A Hartington Street, Glenroy VIC 3046

PO Box 2008, Meadow Heights 3048

Ph 8669 1500

AES is a 100 per cent Indigenous, not-for-profit recruitment company.

How to get involved
  • Employ Aboriginal and Indigenous people within your workplace.

Bundji Bundji Program (Partnership between Whitelion and Narana Creations)

900 Park Street, Parkville VIC 3052

Ph 9389 4420

The Bundji Bundji program includes advocacy and representation in courts, schools and government departments. Whitelion provides community support, opportunities and positive relationships for young people involved in Victoria’s juvenile justice and child protection systems. Narana Creations is an Australian Aboriginal cultural tourism and education enterprise that is committed to providing a welcome introduction to today’s Indigenous culture.

How to get involved
  • Mentor young people, including those in juvenile justice facilities; and
  • Volunteer in other areas of the program.

Connecting Home Limited

14 Gipps Street, Collingwood VIC 3066

PO Box 1234 Collingwood VIC 3066

Ph 8679 0700

Connecting Home works with people who have been forcibly removed from their family, community and culture – the “Stolen Generations” – as well as educating the public about the Stolen Generations. The organisation works on a case management basis, assisting people access information about their heritage from public authorities and church groups.

How to get involved
  • Provide legal advice (such as aiding clients seeking compensation under the common law);
  • Assist clients to access personal files from churches and public authorities;
  • Provide career and education advice and/or mentoring to clients;
  • Provide legal and non-legal career opportunities; and
  • Assist with major events by providing pro bono legal advice, general assistance and coordination to the organisation.

Ganbina Koori Economic Employment & Training Agency

99 Welsford Street, Shepparton VIC 3630

PO Box 1403, Shepparton VIC 3630

Ph 5821 7333

Ganbina empowers Indigenous youth to achieve true social and economic equality with other Australians. It works with youth throughout their secondary school years to make sure that they get the right education, job training and life skills to enable them to reach their full potential.

How to get involved
  • Donate;
  • Raise funds; and
  • Provide venues for workshops, functions or hosting youth programs.

Indigenous Community Volunteers

Level 4, Novell Building, 71 Northbourne Avenue,

Canberra ACT 2601

GPO Box 2213, Canberra ACT 2601

Ph (02) 6122 6444

Indigenous Community Volunteers is a not-for-profit, non-government registered charity that undertakes community development projects in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve their quality of life, health, social and economic wellbeing, and lessen Indigenous disadvantage.

How to get involved
  • Volunteer on community identified and driven community development projects.

Indigenous Law Students & Lawyers Association of Victoria – Tarwirri

470 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph 9607 9474

Tarwirri’s main objective is for Indigenous law students to attain the same graduation and workplace participation rates as those of other students. Tarwirri provides seasonal clerkships, application assistance, scholarships, bursaries, advocacy, mentoring, welfare referral and cultural awareness information to law firms and agencies.

How to get involved
  • Become a Tarwirri member (non-Indigenous people pay a small fee to be an associate member); and
  • Provide tax-deductible donations.

Indigenous Lawyers Committee (ILC), Victorian Bar

Owen Dixon Chambers East

Level 5, 205 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph 9225 7111

The ILC comprises Victorian barristers and judges undertaking activities to attract and retain Indigenous barristers and promote Indigenous participation in the legal system nationally. Their work includes promoting the briefing of Indigenous barristers under the LIV/Victorian Bar Indigenous Barristers Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy, mentoring of Indigenous law students/graduates by barristers and judges, and arranging work experience for Indigenous secondary students.

How to get involved
  • Brief Indigenous barristers; and
  • Choose an Indigenous barrister as your junior counsel.

Indigenous Student Services – La Trobe University

Office of the Director, Indigenous Education,

La Trobe University, VIC 3086

Ph 9479 3428

Indigenous Student Services assists prospective Indigenous students with application, selection and admissions processes, while providing academic, cultural and personal support to all enrolled Indigenous students throughout their tertiary studies. It also provides cultural awareness training and information to non-Indigenous students and academics at the university.

How to get involved
  • Tutor Indigenous law and legal studies students to assist them with their studies, particularly the transition to university for mature-aged students; and
  • Provide placement and work experience opportunities to students to build on their professional development.

Koorie Heritage Trust

295 King Street (Cnr Little Lonsdale Street),

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph 8622 2600

The Koorie Heritage Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and protects the living culture of the Indigenous people of south-eastern Australia by caring for a diverse range of artefacts including artworks, oral histories, books, manuscripts and photographs. The trust operates a retail store, art gallery and educational programs for the community.

How to get involved
  • Volunteer to work in its library and collections facilities;
  • Provide pro bono legal assistance; and
  • Make a donation.

Law Council of Australia

19 Torrens Street, Braddon ACT 2612

GPO Box 1989, Canberra ACT 2601

DX 5719 Canberra

Ph (02) 6246 3788

The Law Council of Australia is the peak national representative body of the Australian legal profession. The John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and has assisted a number of Indigenous law students across Australia to complete their legal studies.

How to get involved
  • Make a donation to the John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship Trust Fund to help increase the number of law scholarships that can be awarded.

Lawyers for the Arrabunna Maree People (LAMP)

497 Swan Street, Richmond VIC 3121

Ph 9429 8111

LAMP aims to support the voice of Indigenous Australians by providing independent legal research and strategic options to help develop Australian law and understanding of Indigenous issues. LAMP is made up of volunteers from all walks of life, from both inside and outside the law.

How to get involved
  • Provide general administrative support;
  • Conduct legal research;
  • Conduct general research; and
  • Contact LAMP for further volunteer positions.

LIV Indigenous Issues and Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee

470 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph 9607 9489

Working in partnership with the Indigenous Australian community, the committee aims to raise the awareness of non-Indigenous Australian legal professionals about the impact of legal issues on Indigenous Australians. It comments on proposed law changes relating to Indigenous Australians, organises forums and events, supports increased participation of Indigenous Australians in the legal profession and finds ways to improve the accessibility of justice for Indigenous Australians.

How to get involved
  • Become a committee member; and
  • Get involved in the LIV Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.

Monash University Indigenous Student Services Unit (ISSU)

Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies

Level 2, Monash University Museum of Art,

Clayton Campus, Wellington Road, Clayton VIC 3800

PO Box 55, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800

Ph 9905 4200

Monash ISSU provides outreach programs for Indigenous secondary and TAFE students to encourage them to consider studying at university. It assists potential students with Monash applications and enrolments, particularly with pathway programs. ISSU provides a culturally safe place for students, along with academic supports, enabling all students to achieve their potential.

How to get involved
  • Mentor or tutor Indigenous law students; and
  • Become involved in other ISSU programs.

Opening the Doors Foundation

434 St Georges Rd, Thornbury VIC 3074

PO Box 1088, Thornbury VIC 3074

Ph 9443 9070

The foundation assists disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who attend non-government schools. The foundation raises and maintains funds to pay for extra costs associated with schooling, such as uniforms, booklists, levies, camps and extracurricular activities, which many Indigenous students attending non-government schools cannot always afford.

How to get involved
  • Provide pro bono legal assistance to the foundation;
  • Assist in a non-lawyer capacity with the administration of grant applications, database entry and drafting submissions for funding;
  • Promote the foundation; and
  • Find prominent speakers for its annual fundraising event.
Public Interest Law Clearing House (VIC) Inc. (PILCH)

17/461 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

PO Box 16013, Collins St West, Melbourne VIC 8007

DX 128 Melbourne

Ph 8636 4400

PILCH aims to increase the provision and efficacy of pro bono legal assistance to disadvantaged and marginalised people and organisations, including Indigenous communities. PILCH facilitates pro bono legal referrals to member law firms on behalf of Indigenous individuals or not-for-profit organisations and undertakes law reform, policy work and legal education on issues relevant to Indigenous Australians.

How to get involved
  • Become a PILCH member, making you eligible for public interest referrals and policy work and allowing you to request referrals from Indigenous people as a matter of priority; and
  • Register as a member of the LIV Legal Assistance Scheme and provide pro bono legal advice to Indigenous and non-indigenous clients.

Rumbalara Football Netball Club

Mercury Drive, Shepparton VIC 3630

Ph 5822 4364

Rumbalara Football Netball Club is an Aboriginal-owned and managed sporting club. It provides sporting, nutrition and leadership skills, drug and alcohol programs, as well as employment opportunities. Games provide a safe place where community members can improve their fitness, while reinforcing their self-esteem, culture and identity.

How to get involved
  • Join our “Friends of Rumba” group (to provide networking opportunities and raise Rumbalara’s profile);
  • Become a “Brolga member” (to provide financial assistance through membership fees in exchange for special benefits); and
  • Attend games and volunteer for the many roles required on a game day.

Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI)

355 High Street, Northcote VIC 3070

Ph 9481 0800

VAEAI advocates for the Victorian Koori community, providing policy and program development advice to government regarding education and training – from early childhood through to tertiary level. VAEAI promotes culturally-relevant and supportive education and training that reinforces Koori cultural identity. VAEAI also supports wider community education about Koori culture.

How to get involved
  • Provide pro bono legal services; and
  • Develop policies and programs that might positively impact on Koories.

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Limited (VALS)

6 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy VIC 3065

PO Box 218, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Ph 9419 3888

VALS was established in 1973 to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system. VALS provides assistance in the areas of criminal law, family law and civil law. It is involved in community legal education, research and advocacy around law reform/policy development.

How to get involved
  • Provide pro bono assistance (legal, marketing or media);
  • Aid with research;
  • Provide community legal education; and
  • Sponsor professional development events for VALS’ lawyers

Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation

21 Scott Street, Heywood VIC 3304

Ph 5527 2051

Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation delivers services for local Aboriginal communities in Heywood, Hamilton and Portland. Areas of service delivery include health, community wellbeing, housing, land management, education, economic development, heritage and culture, cultural awareness and tourism.

How to get involved
  • Assist with transport for regular GP services and specialists appointments;
  • Help with elders’ craft activities;
  • Mentor;
  • Tutor;
  • Help with native tree planting;
  • Take part in working parties; and
  • Engage with the Winda-Mara board of directors.

Worawa Aboriginal College Ltd

60-80 Barak Lane, Healesville VIC 3777

PO Box 1250, Healesville VIC 3777

Ph 5962 4344

Worawa is Victoria’s only independent Aboriginal school and was established in 1983. It is a boarding school for Aboriginal girls in the middle years of schooling and implements an holistic program based on an integrated culture and wellbeing education model.

How to get involved
  • Become a Friend of Worawa (an informal network where people can donate financial assistance or their professional skills);
  • Provide pro bono legal work;
  • Tutor;
  • Fundraise;
  • Participate in working bees;
  • Participate in environmental programs on college property; and
  • Support the Pathways to Womanhood program.

Youth Challenge Australia (YCA)

C/- University of Technology Sydney,

PO Box 222 Eton Road, Linfield NSW 2070

Ph (02) 9514 5512

YCA mobilises young people (18-30) to assist with sustainable development internationally and within Indigenous Australia. YCA is committed to bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In partnership with Indigenous community organisations, YCA recruits and trains volunteers to support programs that improve health, education, wellbeing and pride in Indigenous communities.

How to get involved
  • Become a volunteer for YCA’s 4–10 week programs in remote Indigenous communities to provide valuable support to local organisations.


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