T receives inaugural hes law scholarship
at the handing over t the firm’s Georgeriday, Gomes noted teful to the law firm more opportunities e for other indigeted in pursuing terany
indigenous perable to realise and potential, simply al constraints, and I Indigenous person digenous community e who truly knows ndigenous peoples. d, I would like them pportunities are endach out far enough she said. ked the APA and its aura George and , who made recombehalf.
Meanwhile, Nigel Hughes, partner in the firm and son of the late Clarence A. F. Hughes SC, spoke of the long history of collaboration between the law firm and the APA, before reiterating the importance of supporting Indigenous youth desirous of pursing courses in law.
Hughes noted that after years of collaboration and working in the indigenous communities, encouragement was given to village leaders to have those students who are bright, energetic and ambitious study law. This, he said, would have allowed them to dedicate their time in the future to helping their peoples’ efforts towards the protection of their rights, both historic and current, as well as to also aid in their legal representation.
He added that Gomes has “some outstanding credentials” and that the firm
was both honoured and privileged to be able to provide the scholarship to her.
Meanwhile, Laura George, of the APA, said that for many years encouragement was given to communities to support students who were doing exceedingly well at high school, so that they would go on to pursue tertiary education, especially in the areas of law and medicine.
She explained that this is due to the competiveness of the already limited support given by the government towards hinterland students. “The reason we have been doing this is because government support has been limited, and quite competitive, as well as, being quite out of reach for many of our indigenous peoples,” she stated.
She said encouragement was given to district councils to nominate their students but the response was slow until Gomes made an appeal to the APA for support in pursuing her tertiary education.
“But as much as we would have liked to offer help, our funding does not cater unfortunately to give this kind of support for academics, and so we decided to extend even more into the generosity of Hughes, Fields and Stoby, and to Mr. Hughes who generously and quite quickly said yes,” George stated.
“Because Miss Gomes is from the Indigenous peoples of the Patamona, she understands the challenges when it comes to access to justice. I know she will be there to lend her services when she becomes an attorney,” she added.