Arts Law senior solicitor, Donna Robinson, accompanied by lawyer Courtney Daunt from Hall & Wilcox travelled to Aurukun on the Gulf of Carpentaria and to Yarrabah, near Cairns during the week beginning 29 July 2019. Courtney was assisting Arts Law as part of Hall & Wilcox’s pro-bono program. The journey involved flying from our home bases in Sydney and Brisbane and then an early morning flight from Cairns to Aurukun and a flight back to Cairns the following afternoon.
While there they travelled to local art centres, the Wik & Kugu Art Centre and the Akay Koo’oila Women’s Centre in Aurukun and the Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct, to give workshops to the artists and art centre staff on legal rights for artists. These sessions covered a range of different legal issues such as intellectual property, Indigenous cultural and intellectual property, licensing for use of images, contracts and wills. The team also prepared wills for many of the artists and discussed any legal issues the art centre managers’ were having.
“It was a very rewarding experience.” Said Courtney. “Many of the artists clearly had little understanding about their legal rights so I was very happy to be able to assist and educate the artists in this respect. They were clearly all very happy for our help. I also learned many different things about the aboriginal culture such as the importance of art as an industry in these towns. I did not realise how important the art centre was to the Indigenous culture. It was fascinating.”