Caxton Legal Centre launched its First Nations Plan 2021 – 2023 on Close the Gap Day, Thursday 18 March 2021.
Specifically tailored to Caxton’s work in the legal assistance service sector, the Plan engages Caxton’s management committee, staff and volunteers in reconciliation activities aimed at Caxton’s vision of a just and inclusive Queensland.
Caxton Legal Centre CEO, Cybele Koning, emphasized the importance of the First Nations Plan due to high rates of engagement the organisation has with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in many of its specialist programs.
“Caxton delivers several programs where First Nations peoples are a significant cohort. In our Bail Support Program 17% of clients are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and in our Health Justice Partnership for older people experiencing abuse they represent 15%,” she said.
“This is Caxton’s third Plan and will see Caxton building on existing and new relationships with schools, universities, First Nations individuals and organizations, the Queensland Law Society and law firms and government departments with mutual reconciliation goals,” she said.
Terry Stedman, a Kamilaroi man and Caxton Legal Centre lawyer, co-chairs the First Nations Plan working group. He expressed his gratitude to the External Reference Group, consisting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community members, who provided advice and guidance to Caxton in the development of the engagement plan.
“External reference group members Aunty Gwen Taylor, Aunty Margaret Hornagold, Danika Ryan and Uncle David Wragge anchor this plan to the Community and we are excited to work with them further as we begin to deliver our plan,” he said.
The Close the Gap campaign aims to reduce discrepancies in outcomes for First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians in the fields of health and education. The 2021 Close the Gap report showcases the leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations throughout critical health crises in 2020, and how strengths-based approaches are the most effective way to improve health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.