Lenique Lawson will be admiited as a lawyer to Rockhampton's Supreme Court on Friday
Lenique Lawson will be admiited as a lawyer to Rockhampton's Supreme Court on Friday

Indigenous mum takes huge step in social justice journey

LENIQUE Lawson expected to become emotional during the ceremony Friday which admitted her as a lawyer to the Supreme Court.

It has been a long journey for the Rockhampton mum of two who went straight from high school at Heights College to a four-year degree at CQUniversity.

That she managed to balance her distance education studies while having two children and also working full-time, she puts down to a strong work ethic and lots of family support.

“I worked in a paralegal position with the Department of Public Prosecutions, and also in a support role for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, covering the western circuit around Woorabinda, Emerald, Blackwater, Longreach and Winton,” she said.

“Both sets of grandparents live close by and my sister was already ready to step in when I had assignments and exams so I’m very grateful to them.”

Ms Lawson – who has Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander as well as South Sea Islander heritage – said she was inspired by her extended family’s values, and also her senior school Legal Studies teacher.

“Irene Pass at Heights College was very influential in putting me forward for opportunities to attend conferences, and getting me into spaces I wouldn’t otherwise occupy,” she said.

“I’d always been passionate about Indigenous activism and social justice, and my senior studies narrowed down how I can explore them.”

Ms Lawson was introduced to the judge on Friday by fellow lawyer Samantha Le Grady.

She hopes to keep working with Indigenous clients who, she said, sometimes needed help “comfortably navigating” unfamiliar systems.

She also hopes to move into policy reform.

“Indigenous people have a unique and relevant perspective in terms of traditional lore, such as how their family systems work, and their voices deserve recognition at the highest level of decision-making,” she said.

When asked whether we would see her in Parliament in 10 years, Ms Lawson smiled.

“I’d love to be there,” she said.



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