Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 34: April 2009
Launch of the Mullenjaiwakka Trust Print E-mail

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The BAQ Indigenous Trust was launched at the Annual Conference on 7 March 2009.

The following is the text of the speech given by Richard Douglas SC, a member of the Bar Council, who chaired the launch of the Trust.


lloyd-mcdermott_mull_0939.jpgChief Justice French, Chief Justice de Jersey, Your Honours, Bar Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Mullenjaiwakka1, formerly known as Lloyd McDermott, has accepted the invitation of the Queensland Bar Association to have the newly constituted BAQ Indigenous Barristers’ Trust named in his honour.

Mullenjaiwakka, who has given his consent for me to refer to him also as Lloyd, is a proud Wakka Wakka man from Central Queensland.  He was born in Eidsvold.   His mother, Aunty Vi, now 90, lives in Brisbane in the suburb of Inala.

Lloyd attended the Church of England Grammar School where he excelled both academically and as a sportsman.

 Lloyd holds degrees in law, science and criminology from the Universities of Queensland, Sydney and New South Wales.

After graduating law, Lloyd worked in the Commonwealth Deputy Crown Solicitor’s Office.  He was then admitted as a barrister in New South Wales.

Lloyd continues to practise at the Bar, mainly in crime and appellate work, albeit now part-time.  He is also a part-time member of the  Mental Health Tribunal of that state.

Lloyd has inspired many by his sporting, professional and personal achievements.   He was Australia’s first indigenous barrister.  He was also the first indigenous Australian to represent his country in rugby union.  He played for the Wallabies in 1962.  He took a principled stand in  opting to withdraw from the Wallaby squad rather than play under the offensive title  “honorary white” on a South African tour.

Lloyd is a trustee of the New South Wales Bar Association Indigenous Lawyers’ Trust.  That has come to be known as the “Mum Shirl” Trust.

The BAQ Trust has its genesis in 1994 with a proposal of the then President of BAQ, Glenn Martin QC (as His Honour then was).  I also acknowledge the continuing work of Dan O’Gorman SC and Dan O’Connor.  Each has been a driving force in the establishment of the  Trust.

The point of the Trust is to assist our fellow Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestry, and otherwise disadvantaged, to progress to and entrench in practice at the Queensland Bar.

The Trust has been kicked off with the surplus from BAQ’s conduct, last year, of the National Indigenous Law Conference.  In the coming months members of the Association will be invited to contribute.  When that call comes I request that you respond positively.

The naming of the Trust in honour of Mullenjaiwakka is a frank acknowledgement by the Queensland Bar of his work and example in furthering opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.   On behalf of the Queensland Bar, and the people of this state and country, I thank Lloyd for this contribution.

mullen_logo.jpgI am delighted that the Chief Justice of Queensland, the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, a Life Member of the Bar Association, has agreed to act as patron of the Trust. His Honour's ongoing commitment to the Bar, and this important project is appreciated and acknowledged.

The Chief Justice is also the Patron of the Indigenous Fund of the Brisbane Boys College of which Lloyd is an Ambassador. I am pleased this connection will continue with BAQ Trust.

I invite Mullenjaiwakka to address you now.  I ask that you welcome him.

[Mullenjaiwakka then delivered a gracious and entertaining ad lib address to the 350 plus BAQ  members in attendance.  He spoke of the work of the Mum Shirl Trust, it providing assistance to young Aboriginal barristers in their studies and in their very early years at the Bar.  He gave the example of a silk in New South Wales who is contributing $8,000 per month, for 12 months, to the Trust in recognition of its work.  Lloyd went on to give an entertaining account of his career at the criminal bar, at trial and appellate level.   He encouraged members to give sensibly and generously to the newly established BAQ Trust. Mr Douglas SC went on:]

On behalf of the Bar Association I have pleasure in inviting the Chief Justice, as patron of the Mullenjaiwakka Trust, to officially launch the Trust.

[The Chief Justice then launched the Trust.  He acknowledged the contribution of Mullenjaiwakka to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and as a barrister.  He spoke of the good work undertaken by the Brisbane Boys College Trust, of which one of our members, Michael Amerena, was Chairman.  He officially launched the Trust.]

Richard Douglas SC

 

Footnote

1. Pronounced "mull-in-ji-wokka".


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