Welcome to the home page for the Indigenous Barristers' Strategy Working Party. We are a special committee set up to implement the Indigenous Lawyer’s Strategy at the New South Wales Bar. The membership is comprised of barristers and representatives of the law schools of the University of New South Wales and the University of Technology, Sydney.


1. Further develop & implement the Indigenous Barristers’ Strategy approved by the Bar Council.
2. Devise & implement fund raising strategies for the Indigenous Barristers’ Trust.
3. Liaise with the Equal Opportunity Committee on issues involving Indigenous barristers.
4. Create further employment opportunities at the NSW Bar for Indigenous law students.
5. Liaise with other agencies to create further employment opportunities for recent Indigenous law graduates to work as solicitors, judges’ associates and in other appropriate areas of legal work.


A special trust fund was established in 2002 to create a pool of funds to provide financial assistance to Indigenous barristers, especially in their first few years of practice and to Indigenous law students. The fund has deductible gift recipient status as a public benevolent institution under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth). Members of the association continue to make generous donations to the trust so it can meet the needs of Indigenous law students, graduates and barristers.

View a video about the Indigenous Barristers' Trust

A promotional video, which explains the history and role of the trust fund may be downloaded in formats which use the following media players (which may be downloaded free of charge):



The Indigenous Barristers Strategy Working Party has developed two programs, mentoring and employment, that provide assistance and advice to Indigenous lawyers and law students. One main objective is to increase the number of Indigenous barristers at the NSW Bar.

Mentoring Indigenous Law Students

The purpose of the mentoring program is to provide opportunities for barristers to share their wealth of information and life experiences with Indigenous law students or Indigenous young lawyers. If you are a barrister interested in mentoring, please fill out this form. If you are an Indigenous student or young lawyer interested in this program, please fill out this form or contact Chris Ronalds SC via e-mail or on 9229 7378. We will then attempt to match you with an appropriate barrister or student depending on experiences/interests.

Employment for Indigenous law students

All barristers, clerks and chambers are encouraged to offer causal or part-time employment opportunities for Indigenous law students. Ideally this would be for a day or half a day each week on a regular basis involving tasks such as loose-leaf filing, administrative or clerical tasks or research. If you have are able to offer any employment or you are an interested Indigenous law student, please contact Chris Ronalds SC at or on 9229 7378.


An evening with Monique Coleman

On Monday 7 February 2011, the Indigenous Barristers Trust funded a cocktail evening with Monique Coleman at ECQ Bar, Quay Grand. Monique Coleman, successful film and television star, was appointed the first ‘Youth Champion’ by the United Nations at the end of 2010. She commenced her self-funded world tour in Sydney and aims to raise awareness about the challenges facing young people and promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilisations.


The National Indigenous Legal Conference is an annual event in which the Indigenous legal sector (Indigenous and non-Indigenous practitioners, academics and law students) come together to consider and discuss matters of national and regional importance. The legal issues that were in focus included: Indigenous Rights, Governance, Sentencing, Client Engagement, Cultural Protection, Identity, Special Measures and the Northern Territory Intervention. The National Indigenous Legal Conference was held in Sydney in 2011 and provided a forum for scrutiny and discussion of these pressing and important legal and social matters. The event was jointly hosted by the NSW Bar Association and the Ngalaya (the Indigenous lawyers and law students association of NSW).

Pre-law visit to New South Wales Bar Association 2012.

On Tuesday 11 December 2012, 20 Indigenous students attended the NSW Bar Association pre-law function. The morning opened with presentations from barristers from different practices and backgrounds on the topic of “life as a barrister”. The students then attended the Supreme Court with Justice Slattery who after the conclusion of the hearing, spoke to the students about his experiences. An informal lunch concluded the afternoon..


Use your credit card to make a donation. All major cards accepted. Alternatively, you may arrange to have regular payments debited from your bank account.The Indigenous Barristers' Trust - The Mum Shirl Fund is an eligible deductible gift recipient.
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members of the working party

Chris Ronalds SC (chair)
Daniel Howard SC
Dina Yehia SC
His Honour Judge Andrew Haesler
Tony McAvoy
Professor David Barker
Professor Larissa Behrendt
Jeni Engel

Bar Association Staff Members
Megan Black & Wendy Incoll