GOLDEN Bay resident Dayna Lazarides hopes to reform Australian law and reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in prisons.
Students from Murdoch’s third-year Social and Welfare Law unit researched the issue of Indigenous incarceration rates and suggested legal measures.
The students’ submissions were accepted by the Australian Law Reform Commission, which will now consider changes to laws to help address the problem.
Ms Lazarides said she was happy and proud to have her submission accepted.
“Through the submission process I learnt to use a voice I never had before,” she said. “I also learnt about the disadvantages that Indigenous Australians living in very remote areas face”.
Ms Lazarides said writing the submission helped her understand how legislation was not always beneficial to all in the community.
“Working within the area of law reform really appealed to me and now I am completing my practical legal training at the Environmental Defender’s Office of Western Australia, where I am assisting in law reform projects daily,” she said.
Murdoch law lecturer Anna Notley, who teaches the unit, said she encouraged all her students to make submissions.
“The professional skill required to write such a submission is highly valued by employers,” she said. “It is also quite an achievement to have submissions accepted alongside those of judges, social justice lawyers and top policy makers, as our students were for this inquiry.”
The students’ final report will be tabled in Parliament and released later this year.
Law student Dayna Lazarides.