Camp Inspires Indigenous Lawyers of the Future

9 Jun 2015

Twenty-two young indigenous Australians were given a sneak peek at their possible futures during the first InspireU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law Camp in March.

Students who attended InspireU camp.

UQ Law School Associate Professor Peter Billings said the camp aimed to encourage indigenous students to consider a career in law.

“Unfortunately, indigenous Australians are underrepresented in law,” Dr Billings said.

“There are many talented young indigenous people who might not otherwise consider becoming a solicitor or barrister.

“We wanted to give those students a taste of what a career in law is about, and hopefully tempt them to go on to study law.”

Students took part in a number of activities during the week, including visits to courts and law firms, and interactive workshops on legal issues, cultural identity and learning styles.

Dr Billings said students had been overwhelmingly positive about their experience at the camp, with many indicating they were now sure they wanted to study law.

“The students said they were inspired by their camp mentors, as well as by speakers such as indigenous barristers Joshua Creamer and Nathan Jarro,” Dr Billings said.

“I think the camp also made university seem less daunting by giving them a better idea of what is involved and what support – both financial and otherwise – is available to them.”

The InspireU camp was staffed by Outreach and Engagement team members and student ambassadors from UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit (ATSISU).

To apply for the camp, students had to be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, in Year 11 or 12, and studying OP English. Their overall academic performance was also considered.

More than two-thirds of the camp’s participants were from regional Queensland.