Brian Attard, 2022 First Nations Lawyer of the Year

Published by Ngalaya on

2022 First Nations Law Awards

On August 31, Kamilaroi man Brian-John Attard was named First Nations Lawyer of the Year at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball.

Brian was admitted as a lawyer in 2015, and has worked as a Solicitor at the Senior Rights Service since 2020. Before this, Brian was a Solicitor in the Health Justice Partnership of Redfern Legal Centre.

The Ngalaya Board of Directors was moved by the testimonies of 5 of Brian’s colleagues in his nomination for First Nations Lawyer of the Year.

“In the 18 months I’ve worked with [Brian], I can happily say I’ve never worked with a more passionate, dedicated solicitor. He brings an infectious energy to the role that lifts the whole team up to not just want to do better every day, but also enjoy doing it…”

Brian Attard speaks after accepting the 2022 First Nations Lawyer of the Year Award at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball
Brian Attard speaking after accepting his award at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball

His skill and zeal for the role is clear to anyone he works with – client, colleague or even, I’d wager, opposing counsel. I think he’s probably taught me more about the law and legal issues facing First Nations people in 18 months than my previous decade in the legal system.”

A young Indigenous law student who worked with Brian wrote: “Sitting in on the Pro Bono Clinics we see a great amount of First Nations clients, particularly suffering from intergenerational trauma. Uncle Brian has taught me how to nurture these clients. You can tell and feel the anxiety of Aunts and Uncles talking to us, and as soon as Brian has a yarn with them and assists them with their legal issues, you can hear and feel the relief and happiness in their voices. Additionally, I have seen, particularly in outreaches, that the community respects, loves and appreciates Brian to the extent that … Uncles and Aunties call him their “best friend”, occasionally break down in tears of happiness and say that he is a life saver.”

Brian Attard stands with his First Nations Lawyer of the Year Award surrounded by friends and colleagues
Brian Attard (centre) celebrates his Award with friends and colleagues from his table at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball.

Kate Sinclair, Chairperson of Ngalaya, was thrilled to present Brian with the First Nations Lawyer of the Year Award, as part of the inaugural First Nations Law Awards at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball.