Bennelong Papers

What White Aborigines want

Tarwirri is the legal pressure group Ron Merkel credited with initiating proceedings against Andrew Bolt in the White Aborigines Trial.

From the Tarwirri website:

Tarwirri, the Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association of Victoria (ILSLAV), is an incorporated association that provides assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students, lawyers, solicitors, barristers and judicial officers in Victoria.

Source: Tarwirri

Full membership is open to anyone who is an Indigenous Australian studying law in Victoria; or who has previously graduated in law from a university or other institution and who currently resides in Victoria; or who is studying, or has previously graduated in law at a university or other institution outside Victoria, and who currently resides in Victoria and whose membership is approved by the committee.

Source: Tarwirri

Donations to Tarwirri are tax deductible.

This is a photo from the Tarwirri website. The original caption reads, “Crowd at the 2008 National Indigenous Legal Conference in Melbourne”:

This was published in the Tarwirri newsletter:


Cultural Safety refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the acceptance and acknowledgement of their cultural identity and practices in a respectful manner. The phrase ‘cultural safety’ was originally used by Maori nurses, meaning that there was an environment where no assault on a person’s identity could take place. Ways in which you and your workplace can improve cultural safety for Indigenous people includes:

Employing more than one Indigenous person – isolation is a huge issue

Encouraging the creation of Indigenous staff network programs and get-togethers

Providing cultural awareness training to all non-Indigenous staff

Listening respectfully to the ideas and feedback provided by Indigenous staff members and not interrupting

Upholding and promoting all human rights

Respecting and upholding specific cultural protocols

Understanding that not all silences in a conversation need to be filled – a pause taken before important information is divulged or considered

Implementing strict policies of privacy and confidentiality

Understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are very diverse, so the ‘one size fits all’ approach rarely works

Source: Tarwirri newsletter, June 2011 (pdf)


See also: Lawyers vs. Bolt

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