DEG's Speaker Clem Dodd, Secretary Virginia Robinson and Project Manager Wendy Spencer travelled to Sydney to attend the NSW Law and Justice Foundation's NSW Justice Awards dinner in NSW Parliament House. We were thrilled that with ALS Moree and Gilbert + Tobin, Dharriwaa Elders Group won the Pro Bono Partnership Award. Gilbert + Tobin have supported the Dharriwaa Elders Group since 2003. This award recognised the partnership's ongoing work to support social housing tenants seeking housing repairs in Walgett, and in Moree with Moree ALS. Dharriwaa Elders Group greatly values the appropriate and highly competent support offered by Anne Cregan and her team of brilliant lawyers. Wendy Spencer made a brief acceptance speech thanking the NSW Law and Justice Foundation and Gilbert + Tobin, reflecting on their willingness to join DEG's "community-led" approach. She also paid tribute to DEG's founder George Rose OAM saying that DEG strives to continue his work and that of other Elders who have gone before.
We were honoured that Virginia Robinson was nominated by NSW Environmental Defenders Office for an Aboriginal Justice Award. Her evidence as a witness in the Land and Environment Court had created a significant legal precedent whereby the Court now considers Aboriginal Cultural Heritage matters when determining opal mining Access Management Plans.
We had a great night seated with our other valued legal partners at the EDO NSW who assist our environmental legal matters when they can. We were also pleased to catch up with other legal colleagues during the night including workers from the Dubbo and Sydney offices of NSW Legal Aid. They also provide support for Walgett Elders in civil cases and those currently seeking Reparations for Stolen Generations from the NSW Government. All our legal supporters work tirelessly to improve Aboriginal people's access to the law.