A record number of Indigenous students from The University of Western Australia have graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree this year, the highest number of Indigenous Law graduates in UWA's history.
The six graduates, Dylan Collard, Stephanie Councillor, Angela Crombie, Kelsi Forrest, Katja Gvozdenovic and Micah Kickett, gained entry to Law after completing the UWA Aboriginal Pre-Law Course, bringing the total number of law graduates through this program to 60.
UWA Director, Student Services Marilyn Strother from The School of Indigenous Studies, said it was wonderful to see so many Aboriginal students graduating as lawyers.
"I have no doubt that these young people will make a significant contribution to the community," she said.
"They are likely to work in varied fields and will be viewed as very positive role models by Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal people aspiring to become lawyers.”
New graduate Dylan Collard said the students had supported each other through their studies so it was special to celebrate their graduation together.
“I think it’s only the beginning of what will hopefully be the norm eventually, Aboriginal people graduating from law and all other degrees,” he said.
Kelsi Forrest said her achievement was one that she would always hold dearly.
"As a Noongar person, I've always been strongly aware of the justice issues our people face, including high incarceration rates," she said.
"When it came to choosing a career I always thought law would be a great option and I was lucky enough to get through the Aboriginal pre-law program run by the UWA School of Indigenous Studies.
"Since then I've had experience working with legal organisations such as Legal Aid and the Attorney General's Office in Canberra and now I'm working for a firm in Native Title.
"It's pretty special, especially the fact there are four of us graduating that are Noongar people from the south coast of Western Australia."