Holding Redlich Celebrates Indigenous Languages with their Renamed Meeting Rooms

This is Marun Fourmile from Minjil delivering the Welcome to Country and leading the Smoking Ceremony at Holding Redlich's Cairns office. Photo by Paul Furse, Frontrow Foto.

Holding Redlich, one of Arts Law’s pro bono partners, have recently been presented by the Traditional Owners First Nations, language that renamed the meeting rooms across their Queensland offices. In Brisbane and Cairns, language from the areas’ Traditional Owners now grace the spaces where Holding Redlich’s lawyers, clients and visitors will gather. The move involved in-depth consultation and strict cultural protocols with Traditional Owners.  The collaboration between the Traditional Owners and the firm demonstrates the commitment of reconciliation that the firm strongly holds.

The Brisbane renaming process was spearheaded by Holding Redlich’s Nareeta Davis, a First Nations lawyer working in Cairns. Ms Davis summarised the experience, saying:

“It is encouraging to think that for years to come, Turrbal and Yidinji names will be spoken daily in Holding Redlich’s Brisbane and Cairns office, bringing people together to meet.”

In Brisbane, rooms are now known by the names of local plants, for example Mungar (Turrbal for Blue Gum) and Yura (Spotted Gum). Further north in Cairns, the area’s sea life will be featured. Rooms such as Murujum (Stingray) and Ngunanggarra (Whale) have been renamed in the city’s Yidinji language. Each room has corresponding artwork to match the names, which was painted by local Cairns artist Susan Reys of Kgari 3 Sisters Gallery.

Arts Law appreciates the essential part that language plays in identity and culture. We have been partnered with First Languages Australia for over two years now, helping support Language centers with legal advice and resources. Sadly, Indigenous languages are being lost in the passage of time – so action to recognise and revive these languages is something Arts Law seeks to celebrate.

Our Artists in the Black (AITB) program provides free legal advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art makers. The program engages in frequent outreach to Indigenous communities across the country, ensuring that First Nations practitioners know their rights when it comes to their work. If you are interested in helping to contribute to this important work, please reach out to us today.

You can find more information about Artists in the Black here.

If you or your firm are working on projects that highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture or that promote reconciliation we’d love to share your stories. Contact us to find out more.