Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights | About ALRAR
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About ALRAR

Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights

Who We Are

Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights (ALRAR) is an independent, not-for-profit entity providing high-quality legal services to remote Aboriginal people and organisations on select human rights and public interest matters. It provides all of its services free of charge.

 

ALRAR was established in 2015 by a group of lawyers with experience working in remote Australia who wanted to strategically apply their legal skills to help address the social, economic and geographical disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people living in remote communities.

 

ALRAR was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 2016, with each of its founders making a small financial contribution to meet start-up costs.

 

ALRAR relies entirely on the voluntary work of legal professionals. It is currently working to establish a donor base and Professional Legal Network to expand its reach.

Knowledge and Experience

How We Operate

SUPPORTING SELF-DETERMINATION

ALRAR is not an Aboriginal organization. However, through our work, we seek to support Aboriginal peoples’ right to self-determination.

STRATEGIC REPRESENTATION

We strive to deliver high quality legal services that address significant or systemic human rights issues affecting remote Aboriginal communities. To achieve this, we only provide legal representation and advice to remote Aboriginal clients in strategically selected matters.

See Our Work

PROFESSIONAL LEGAL NETWORK

ALRAR’s work is conducted by our Director of Legal Advocacy with the support of a voluntary network of legal professionals.

Join our Professional Legal Network.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Our work is driven by the concerns of remote Aboriginal people. We work in consultation with remote Aboriginal communities to identify the public interest and human rights matters of importance to them.

PARTNERSHIPS

We seek to build alliances and work in partnership with existing local Aboriginal organisations, such as community-based Aboriginal corporations, Land Councils and Aboriginal Legal Services.

Accordingly, we do not act against Aboriginal organisations.

CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE

We are experienced in communicating with remote Aboriginal clients on complex legal issues in culturally responsive ways.

We are sensitive to issues such as community conflict, local governance structures, gender, cultural norms and language barriers in all aspects of our work.

Knowledge and Experience

What We Do

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Our Team

elly-patira

Elly Patira

Elly is a founding member of ALRAR, and has extensive experience working with Aboriginal people and organisations in remote Australia.

Most recently, Elly worked as a Senior Associate in HWL Ebsworth’s Alice Springs office, advising Aboriginal organisations and representative bodies on a breadth of issues, including in the areas of corporate governance, property, finance, employment, discrimination and projects. Elly also coordinated the firm’s Northern Territory Pro Bono practice.

Prior to this, Elly worked as a lawyer at Central Land Council, a statutory body representing traditional Aboriginal land owners. In that role, Elly travelled extensively to desert communities to consult and advise Aboriginal land owners on a range of matters relating to the acquisition, use, occupation and management of their land – including with respect to post-Intervention compensation and tenure arrangements, community housing, joint management of national parks, energy and resource development, tourism proposals, community development projects and native title claims.

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Elly previously worked as a lawyer at top-tier commercial law firm, Clayton Utz. As part of the firm’s commitment to pro bono, Elly was seconded to Kimberley Community Legal Service in remote Western Australia to provide pro bono advice, information, casework and representation to Indigenous, low-income and disadvantaged clients in the areas of civil, employment, tenancy and consumer credit law. She also assisted in developing the legal service’s Stolen Wages Reparation Program and worked with Aboriginal communities throughout the East Kimberley region to implement that program.

Elly has also worked as a legal advisor to the Constitution Commission of Fiji, and as a consultant to the World Bank, American Bar Association and Citizen’s Constitutional Forum advising on issues relating to human rights, indigenous rights, land rights, transitional justice and constitution-making. She holds a BA (majoring in Media & Communications and Linguistics, with a focus on Aboriginal cross-cultural communication) and a JD (Valedictorian) from the University of Melbourne and an MSt in International Human Rights Law (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford.

She is currently a visiting Senior Research Associate with the Faculty of Law at City University Hong Kong.

dan-kelly

Dan Kelly

Dan is a founding member of ALRAR, and leads ALRAR’s legal advocacy work.

He was admitted as a solicitor in 2005, and initially practiced in Sydney with commercial law firms M + K Lawyers and Norton White.

More recently, Dan has worked as a Senior Solicitor at the Central Land Council, acting for traditional Aboriginal land owners in remote Central Australia on a range of matters including exploration and mining projects, post-Intervention land tenure arrangements (including the negotiation of leases with the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments), indigenous corporate structuring and governance (including pastoral enterprises) and advising on the use of mining royalties for community development purposes.

Dan has represented Aboriginal landowners in land access negotiations relating to the construction of the National Broadband Network infrastructure and the North-East Gas Interconnector. He also advised traditional owners on the hand back of title for the West McDonnell and Watarrka National Parks and in relation to the ongoing joint management of national parks in Central Australia.

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In 2013, Dan was appointed as Legal Practice Manager at the Central Land Council, overseeing a team of lawyers responsible for providing legal advice in relation to all public and private activities on Aboriginal land. In this role, he also worked in conjunction with the Environmental Defenders Office NT to bring an application under the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act to prevent exploration in Watarrka National Park.

In addition to his work with ALRAR, Dan is currently a Managing Lawyer at Native Title Services Victoria, a legal service representing native title holders in Victoria. He also advises Aboriginal Housing NT, an Aboriginal body recently established to tackle the Aboriginal housing crisis in the Northern Territory.

Dan holds a BA majoring in English and Political Science and an LLB from Western Sydney University.

dara-isaacson

Dara Isaacson

Originally from Canada, Dara holds a BA from McGill University majoring in International Development (with a minor in Political Science/Economics) and a JD from the University of Melbourne. She has worked in a number of countries in both legal and community development roles.

In Canada, Dara worked for an NGO providing support services to newly arrived women and children seeking asylum in Canada. Dara has also worked in Central America, including for a local not-for-profit NGO, Quetzaltrekkers, assisting indigenous street children (in conjunction with a local women’s NGO) through the provision of housing and vocational training services.

Dara has volunteered as a Legal Case Officer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, assisting clients with asylum claims in Australia, and also has experience as a defence lawyer in international criminal law, including at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania.

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Recently, Dara worked for Oxfam International based in the Solomon Islands as a Protection and Gender Support Officer. In this role, she assisted in implementing a multi-agency protection monitoring program in response to the 2014 natural flood disaster.

Dara now works as a family lawyer based in Melbourne. As a family lawyer, she has volunteered at a number of community legal centres assisting disadvantaged clients with matters relating to family law including child protection, domestic violence and alternative dispute resolution. She is also actively involved in ALRAR’s work to address public housing deficiencies in remote Aboriginal communities.