The Judicial Commission has organised three “Exchanging Ideas Conferences”: in 2009, a follow up “Exchanging Ideas II Conference” in 2011 and a third symposium in June 2019.
The aim of the conferences was to bring together judicial officers from all levels of the courts and Aboriginal community members from across NSW to discuss a diverse range of matters relating to Aboriginal cultural, social and legal issues. These programs provided an important opportunity for social and professional interaction between judicial officers and Aboriginal community members, and some insights into Aboriginal culture. Both conferences provided a unique opportunity for a discussion of the ways judicial officers may contribute to the just treatment of Aboriginal people in the court system. The conferences highlighted the need for judicial engagement with Aboriginal communities in order to transform judicial values and attitudes, as well as the attitudes of community members.
The Ngara Yura Committee organised the 2009 and 2011 conferences with the generous support of the National Judicial College of Australia.
The 2019 symposium was presented in partnership with the NSW Bar Association, the Law Society of NSW and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The symposium discussed the processes that led to the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart as well as the processes of nation building and treaty making underway in 2019.
Reports on the Exchanging Ideas Conferences published in the Judicial Officers’ Bulletin
- Exchanging ideas about Aboriginal contact with the criminal justice system (Exchanging Ideas Conference II, September 2011) (PDF 3MB): The conference was structured around two interwoven themes: contemporary social issues which impact on Aboriginal communities, and contemporary legal matters arising from these issues.
- Lighting the way forward: respect, responsibility, engagement, diversity, local solutions (Exchanging Ideas Conference, May 2009) (PDF 5MB): The conference provided the context for Aboriginal incarceration, discussed problems in custody for Aboriginal prisoners, and canvassed strategies for effective post-custody supervision, rehabilitation, mentoring or diversion.
- First Nations consensus in constitutional reform, nation building and treaty making processes (Exchanging Ideas Symposium, June 2019) (PDF 767 KB)