LawHelp strengthening Indigenous corporations

22 November 2010

ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP
AND MINISTER FOR FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched new legal support for nonprofit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

LawHelp will give corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 access to pro-bono legal advice from established law firms across Australia.

“Advice provided through LawHelp will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations with contract negotiations, intellectual property arrangements, property management, tax issues and employment management,” Mr McClelland said.

“I congratulate all the LawHelp partners who will provide their time and expertise free of charge, and I acknowledge the increasingly important role of the legal profession in undertaking pro bono work.”

Ms Macklin highlighted the important role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations played in improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“Indigenous organisations play a central role in representing, assisting and providing services to Indigenous people across the country,” Ms Macklin said.

“They are at the heart of our work to help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“LawHelp’s support will assist organisations to achieve the best possible outcomes for theirmembers and customers.”

Eligible corporations include medical services, native title bodies, community stores, art centres, media organisations and those delivering key environmental health, municipal and remote services.

LawHelp has been developed by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and the Australian Government Solicitor. The service exemplifies best practice cooperation between leading government agencies and represents another step in meeting COAG Indigenous reform targets.

Legal advice will be provided by a number of law practitioners including the Australian Government Solicitor, Clayton Utz, Minter Ellison, Blake Dawson, Williams Love & Nicol Lawyers and Peter Tree SC from Tasmanian-based Derwent and Tamar Chambers.

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone (02) 6277 7300
Fax (02) 6273 4102
www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

Media Contact:
Daniel Gleeson (McClelland) 0417 886 111
Keely Bell (Macklin) 0417 297 157
Ref: ORIC MR1011-15