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Ngalaya Ball 2022 - Celebrating 25 Years

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Ngalaya: Celebrating 25 Years

On August 31 Ngalaya members and supporters gathered on Bidjigal Country to celebrate 25 Years of Ngalaya at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball

Mark Holden, a Dhunghutti man and Ngalaya Director for 10 years opened the night by acknowledging Bidjigal Country and the table of Elders and community members from La Perouse Aboriginal Community.

"We are very grateful to Uncle Colin Isaacs for generously allowing us to display some of his artworks tonight before they are permanently placed", Mark said.

"Tonight is all about celebration and making the most of this moment we have together as a community after all the disruption of these last two years."

Mark Holden, Ngalaya Director, speaking from a lectern at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball.

Mark Holden speaking at the 2022 Ngalaya Ball

Ngalaya's beginnings: panel discussion

The main feature of the night was a panel discussion led by Karla Jeffrey, a final year Juris Doctor student and Kamilaroi woman. Karla guided a discussion with Kevin Williams, Dr Terri Janke, Tony McAvoy SC, Damien Barnes and Duane Keighran.

As the first Chairperson of Ngalaya, Kevin acknowledged the importance of Cal Martin's founding vision for the organisation as a way of creating community and bringing First Nations lawyers and law students together in strength.

Ngalaya Ball panel: Duane Keighran, Damien Barnes, Tony McAvoy, Terri Janke and Kevin Williams sit on stage with Karla Jeffrey

Duane Keighran, Damien Barnes, Tony McAvoy SC, Dr Terri Janke and Kevin Williams in a panel discussion led by Karla Jeffrey.

Damien, Terri and Kevin all reflected on how important having a sense of a support network and strong First Nations mentors was during law school. Tony by comparison shared the difficulties of studying law at a time when there wasn't that kind of support network.

Everyone was thrilled to see the continued growth and success of Ngalaya in the last few years. Duane Keighran acknowledged the importance and need for the legal profession to support Ngalaya so that it can continue to grow.

2022 First Nations Law Awards

Ngalaya also launched the inaugural First Nations Law Awards. Ngalaya's CEO Jason O'Neil said, "these awards are an important opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the important work of Ngalaya members across the legal profession."

Our sincere congratulations to the four award recipients. Find out more about them below:

Brian Attard, First Nations Lawyer of the Year
Dr Dani Larkin, First Nations Legal Researcher of the Year
Kyle Fox First Nations Senior Law Student of the Year
Rhys Spahn Junior Law Student of the Year

Ngalaya Ball Sponsors

The 2022 Ngalaya Ball was supported by Principal Sponsors: Herbert Smith Freehills and Gilbert + Tobin, and Event Sponsor: Ashurst.

Ngalaya is very grateful for their support. The Ngalaya Ball would not have been possible without it.

If you would like to help Ngalaya to grow the next generation of First Nations law-makers, support us with a tax deductible donation today.


Ngalaya Ball 2022


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