Indigenous students

Indigenous sand pattern

Academic advice & support scheme

In 1990 the ANU College of Law established a support scheme to give Indigenous Australian students the skills to succeed in their law degree. This Scheme works in association with the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, part of the Division of Student Life at ANU. The program is now well established with successful graduates and an Indigenous student group spread through all years of the degree and in postgraduate studies. The completion rate for ANU Law Indigenous students is amongst the highest in the country.

The College appoints an Academic Adviser to tutor Australian Indigenous law students in academic skills during the LLBHons and Juris Doctor programs. The adviser, in conjunction with the ANU’s Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, can arrange for individual tutoring assistance in other subjects. We also provide help with administrative problems and pastoral care.

Our curriculum includes Indigenous Australian legal issues in various courses and we offer the elective subjects 'Indigenous Australians and the Law' and ‘Indigenous Community Legal Clinic’.

While often the pathway to Law may be through commencing studies in another area, if you are expecting to receive an ATAR above 85 you should contact our Indigenous Academic Adviser, Dr Asmi Wood to discuss options. Asmi can be contacted on +61 2 6125 8141.

Indigenous legal employment program

The ANU Indigenous Legal Employment Program, launched in 2000, is designed to encourage private sector law firms to employ undergraduate Indigenous law students during their studies. Firms have the option of employing students either as cadets under the Commonwealth National Indigenous Cadetship Program or as part-time employees. Students gain some financial support as well as obtaining legal practice skills and supportive contacts within the legal profession. At present all our second and later year Indigenous students have cadetships. Further information is available from the Indigenous Academic Advisor.

Scholarships & financial support

ANU offers a wide range of Indigenous scholarships to the full ANU community. In addition, the ANU College of Law also offers the following scholarships to Indigenous law students.

  • Freilich Indigenous Student Scholarship in Law, to assist people in the Indigenous Community who want to attend University to obtain a degree in Law to further their career aspirations. The Scholarship aims to offset some of the financial burden of attendance at University in the first year of study.  
  • ANU Legal Workshop GDLP Indigenous Scholarship Scheme, for Indigenous Australian law students planning to undertake their professional legal training (PLT)
  • Regional Rural and Remote placements. The College provides financial assistance to enable law students to undertake the legal placement component of their PLT in RRR settings. We partner with the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) to match graduates with publicly funded legal assistance services in RRR Australia including community legal centres, legal aid offices, aboriginal legal services and family violence prevention legal services.

The College also actively supports the Aurora Native Title Internship Program which introduces law students and graduates to career opportunities in native title, policy development, human rights, social justice and Indigenous affairs.

National Indigenous Law Student 2014 – Sara Wood

Sara Wood

In 2014 Sara Wood was awarded the National Indigenous Law Student of the Year Award (2014) in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement, and community involvement.

“I was really excited to receive the award”, Sara said. “I enjoyed my course of study and received great support and encouragement from the law school – tutors, lecturers and particularly my honours supervisor. The law program was challenging, but it is very rewarding to know that the degree is valued by the broader community”.

Sara, who graduated from law and science in December 2014 hopes to take up a graduate position in the Australian Public Service. “I would like to learn more about legal policy making and hope to find a job where I can combine my interests in both law and biology”, she added. Sara also completed her professional legal training with ANU Legal Workshop in 2015.

Our commitment

ANU is contributing to the national reconciliation process and the aspirations of local Indigenous communities. Our vision is for an Australia that provides equal chances for all, while recognising and respecting the special place, culture and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first Australians. We will work to further scholarly learning, research and public knowledge of Indigenous issues.

Reconciliation Action Plan

ANU has developed its own Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF, 156KB), a whole-of-institution approach to enhancing broad engagement with Indigenous education, research, employment and culture. Each of the ANU Colleges and Divisions also have local area reconciliation action plans.

This plan is part of a national program led by Reconciliation Australia. We are proud to be part of this program, which is committed in part to closing the unacceptable gaps, in particular in socioeconomic outcomes, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The ANU College of Law has it's ownPDF icon ANU Law Reconciliation Action Plan (364.37 KB) that includes putting in place strategies to achieve targets for Indigenous student and staff numbers.

National Centre for Indigenous Studies

The ANU College of Law collaborates in a number of teaching and research activities with the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS). The NCIS Director, Professor Mick Dodson, is a Professor of Law at the ANU College of Law. The centre promotes and initiates cross-disciplinary research, teaching and engagement in a wide range of areas of relevance to Indigenous Australians including the Annual Reconciliation Lecture.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team