2020 has been an important year in the ongoing struggle to address the over-criminalisation and over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. CCLJ is committed to supporting and amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars, advocates and activists who have been campaigning for justice on these issues for decades.
This free public web-based event invites speakers to share reflections on the achievements, failures and lessons learned in 2020, and to speak on future priorities, actions and campaigns.
Confirmed speakers: Peta MacGillivray, Teela Reid and Alison Whittaker
About the speakers
Peta MacGillivray is a Kalkutungu and South Sea Islander lawyer and researcher, and currently the Yuwaya Ngarra-li Project Manager based at UNSW. Peta has on a range of criminology, legal services and community-development projects in Sydney and across Australia. Peta was a Field Researcher and Project Manager for the ARC Linkage Project ‘Indigenous Australians with Mental Health Disorders and Cognitive Disability in the Criminal Justice System’. Peta’s area of legal practice specialisation is the legal needs of children and young people, particularly those experiencing social and economic disadvantage. For example, children and young people in the criminal justice system and the care and protection system. Peta is passionate about youth justice and children and young people’s participation in community development work. Peta is currently completing her Masters in Law (Criminology and Criminal Justice) at UNSW Faculty of Law.
Teela Reid is an activist, lawyer, and proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman from Gilgandra in Western NSW. She is currently a criminal defence lawyer at Legal Aid NSW and a passionate advocate for abolishing systemic racism in the criminal justice process and the Australian Constitution. Teela was a lead researcher on the Walama Court Proposal in NSW and is an advocate for constitutional recognition. She was involved as a working group leader on s 51(xxvi) in the Constitutional dialogue process that culminated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. In 2017 Teela received a Roberta Sykes bursary to study at Harvard University within the Harvard Kennedy School, as part of the global Emerging Leaders program. In 2020 Teela received the UNSW Young Alumni Award.
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi multitasker. Between 2017–2018, she was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School, where she was named the Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Alison is a Senior Researcher at the Jumbunna Institute at UTS, and a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at UNSW. Her debut poetry collection, Lemons in the Chicken Wire, was awarded the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship in 2015. Her latest poetry collection, Blakwork, was published in 2018 and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and won the QLA Judithe Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection. She is the editor of the anthology Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today.