Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Involvement

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Our practice includes an active and wide-ranging client base working and engaging with Indigenous cultures.

We have a demonstrated expertise and practical understanding in these and related areas collaborating with and advising Indigenous Australian peoples.

Reflecting our area of specialisation, our lawyers actively look to assist with the protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights of Indigenous Australian people in their art and culture. The firm has been actively involved in a wide number of legal and policy initiatives concerning Indigenous composers, writers, film directors, film producers, theatre producers and directors, designers, dancers, choreographers, indigenous associations, organisations and Aboriginal Corporations, new media entities, remote access to communication services and artists. We are proud to be associated as lawyers for the producers of the documentary films, feature films and television programs by and about Indigenous Australians, as well as Aboriginal Corporations and organisations advancing indigenous culture and resources nationally.

This firm has developed documentation and special provisions in complex commercial documentation and cultural and legal protocols that take account of the cultural and integrity issues for Indigenous peoples.

We were awarded the tender from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to convene the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Cultural and Intellectual Property consultancy, led by Ms Terri Janke, a then lawyer at the firm, and supported by the other lawyers and specialist staff of the firm. The report Our Culture: Our Future – Proposals for the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property was published and distributed widely in August 1999. It still remains an important resource and can be found here.

We drafted submissions to the Commonwealth Copyright Enforcement Review in 1999 on aspects of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights on behalf of AIATSIS.

We continue to draft protocols, specialist documentation for indigenous Australians and organisations, Aboriginal Media Associations, assist with assembling their intellectual property rights, book publishing, licensing, theatre and touring management, IP rights management and assist with employment and consultancy advice.