Solicitor, Strategic Litigation
Emma has been a Solicitor at PIAC since September 2019. Emma is a Gamilaraay woman living on Gadigal country in Eora (Sydney).
Emma works within PIAC’s Police Accountability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice teams. As part of her involvement in the Aboriginal Justice team, she works on PIAC’s strategy developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities in the NSW child protection system. Emma is also involved in the NSW campaign to raise the age of legal responsibility to at least 14, co-chairing the NSW working group with PIAC’s senior policy officer, Alastair Lawrie. Emma previously worked in the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service project as a solicitor, working on a wide range of civil matters affecting homeless people and doing outreach including at ‘The Shed’ at Mount Druitt.
Emma has previously worked at the Australian Law Reform Commission as a policy officer on the ‘Pathways to Justice Inquiry’ which focused on methods and legislative changes needed to reduce the continuing high rates of incarceration of First Nations people in Australia. Emma was also an associate to the Hon Judge Matthew Myers AM, working in the family law jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court and assisting in the running of the Indigenous Family Law List at the Sydney registry. Judge Myers is the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to any federal level court in Australia. Emma was also previously the Indigenous Research Cadet at the Law Faculty of the University of New South Wales, working on reports including ‘Policing Young People in NSW: A study of the Suspect Targeting Management Plan’ by the Youth Justice Coalition NSW.
Emma has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, and was among the first 100 Indigenous Law Graduates at the university, in a list that includes Pat O’Shane AM, Larissa Behrendt, Teela Reid and Judge Bob Bellear.