7 December 2006

Lawyer's work with Indigenous communities wins 2006 Human Rights Law Award

Peter Siedel's efforts advising charitable, not-for-profit and Indigenous organisations have been recognised with the 2006 Human Rights Law Award.

Head of Arnold Bloch Leibler's public law practice, Peter Siedel works tirelessly with a range of organisations advising on elements critical to their viability, such as corporate governance.

A major player in social and environmental issues for Indigenous people, Peter has represented the Yorta Yorta people for more than 10 years in their native title claim before the Federal and High Courts. He also negotiated ground-breaking agreements between Indigenous groups and government bodies, such as the Yorta Yorta 2004 Co-operative Management Agreement with the Victorian Government.

Peter has worked with Noel Pearson and Cape York Partnerships to develop corporate governance structures enabling the peoples of Cape York to exercise their right to take responsibility. He has also helped protect the rights of Indigenous artists and performers through his work with the Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts Corporation of the East Kimberley.

He continues to collaborate closely with community groups, the legal profession, government and private industry on pertinent human rights issues.

Two entries were highly commended in this year's awards, including Dan Toombs of Queeensland"s Disability Law Project, whose frontline work supporting defendants with a disability at the Toowoomba Magistrate"s Court helped prevent re-offending among 91 per cent of their clients between February 2005 and September 2006.

Lawrence Laikind's efforts through the Disability Discrimination Legal Advocacy Service he has operated since 1994, have also been highly commended for their impact on access issues for people with disabilities, such as the introduction of lifts and accessible buses, and improving sign language arrangements in hospitals and schools.

The prestigious Human Rights Medal was also presented at the ceremony, along with awards for Community, Arts Non-Fiction, Television, Print Media and Radio. For full details: www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards/

Media contact: Louise McDermott 02 9284 9851 or 0419 258 597




Last updated March 27, 2009