In February 2022, the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation launched the Colin Biggers & Paisley Indigenous Cadetship Program
. The program forms part of Colin Biggers & Paisley's Indigenous Engagement Strategy, which seeks to increase employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the field of law and business services. We believe in promoting a diverse, inclusive and supportive workplace where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are provided with equitable opportunities to develop their careers. The cadetship program supports our commitment to provide these opportunities and actively promote the participation and career development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within our business.
Cadets are offered part-time employment for the duration of their law degree and provided the opportunity to work closely with our lawyers who are experts in their areas of legal practice. We provide cadets with the opportunity to build new skills, knowledge and experience, and to gain a greater understanding of our clients and their business. We support our cadets as they complete their studies by offering practical and challenging work, formal mentoring and professional development and networking opportunities, as well as conference attendance.
This year, we welcomed our second cadet, Grace Slatyer
. Grace is a proud Aboriginal woman currently living on Dharug Country (NSW) and is in her final year as an undergraduate Law student at Macquarie University.
Grace discusses her Cadetship experience:
"Working as an Indigenous Cadet at Colin Biggers & Paisley has been an amazing opportunity while completing my law degree. I started my cadetship in the pro bono team and will rotate through other practice groups during my cadetship.
In the pro bono team, I have worked 1-2 days per week assisting lawyers working on pro bono matters with a range of legal research and writing tasks. The cadetship has developed my understanding of the legal system and its practical application. I have also further developed my writing and drafting skills whilst gaining hands-on, practical experience.
The cadetship has provided me with an opportunity to apply my legal study to real-life experiences and situations. Working within the pro bono team has allowed me to contribute to improving access to justice for people who are marginalised and disadvantaged. This cadetship has opened my eyes to the different social justice issues impacting people and organisations as well as providing me with the opportunity to apply my legal theory to real-life circumstances.
I have worked on a range of tasks, however, one that particularly stood out for me was working with a community legal centre that assists children and youth. I found it incredibly rewarding to learn about the mechanisms and legal issues that children and young people face when in contact with the justice system. I was able to apply different laws to the issues impacting these people and assist them to navigate their next steps.
From the moment I entered Colin Biggers & Paisley and started working in the pro bono team I have considered myself incredibly lucky to have the constant support and understanding of the team and Colin Biggers & Paisley. The importance of learning about and acknowledging First Nations peoples has been ever present, I have always felt safe, included, supported and welcomed within Colin Biggers & Paisley. I have also become more confident not only in who I am, but in my studies as well. I am looking forward to learning so much more as I continue
For further information about the Indigenous Cadetship Program, please contact Tamara Sims