Recently endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, Marrickville Legal Centre launched its new Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Thursday 21 July 2022, hosted at the offices of MLC partner Colin, Biggers & Paisley.
The event was opened by Uncle Michael West from Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council with an official Welcome to Country followed by an address from Managing Principal Solicitor Vasili Maroulis who offered context about the Centre’s RAP journey and the ways this plan will help our Centre to improve access to justice for First Nations people living in our key catchment of Sydney’s inner west, south and south west.
“In creating our Reflect RAP, MLC has had to scope and develop our vision for reconciliation and identify what it means for us. At its core, MLC strives to achieve better and fairer outcomes to facilitate Justice for us all. MLC acknowledges the longstanding difficulties faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in accessing justice and fair outcomes within all facets of our legal system. Since our inception in 1979, MLC has endeavoured to provide free legal advice and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Reflect RAP has demonstrated that continuing business as usual is not enough to ensure we are facilitating access to justice and better and fairer outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. MLC is committed to ensuring that we are an accessible, inclusive, and safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Guests also heard from Tempe-based Bundjalung artist Tracey L Bostock who shared a few words in a video message about reconciliation and her artwork Walking on Country for Reconciliation (2022) which features as the cover of MLC’s Reflect RAP.
The artwork illustrates the diversity of the community that surrounds Marrickville Legal Centre and the lands belonging to the Traditional Custodians of the Eora nation. The artwork features natural elements of Gadigal Country including the strong foundation of Sydney’s iconic sandstone and the Cook’s River that runs through Sydney’s inner west to the south west. Also represented is the man-made environment from the streets and terracotta rooves of Marrickville to the communities that exist within our communities, from those who have strong connections to others who may be in need of support.
Of the artwork, Tracey shares:
“My artwork expresses a community that is full of knowledge, richness in culture, strength and survival. Walking on Country for Reconciliation is about making an ongoing commitment to move forward with unity and integrity.
It’s about accepting relationships and the broader community, getting to know and understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, it’s true history, the importance of family, health, education and employment.
During our journey we can have a platform to voice, listen and share the stories. Most importantly in this artwork is about how you walk the talk. Involving yourself actively within community and the people. Take time to reach out to your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and gain their insight and opinions.
I believe in taking those first small steps together on Country can embed a future with positive outcomes.”
The Reconciliation Action Plan, designed by MLC partner Hall & Wilcox, represents our commitment to taking positive action towards celebrating, connecting and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their unique contributions to the communities we serve across New South Wales.
Read our RAP to learn more about Marrickville Legal Centre’s reconciliation journey. Further, our team invites you to pay our Illawarra Road office a visit to see Tracey Bostock’s commissioned artwork in person.