The Environmental Defenders Office stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Our vision is a world where nature thrives. The achievement of this vision cannot co-exist with systemic racism and injustice.
As a legal practice, we are meant to understand notions of justice and injustice. Here there is grave injustice and we – like many others – can stay silent no longer.
As an organisation we see a particular perspective on this in the distributed inequity that comes in the form of the priority given to extractive industries, often at the expense of Aboriginal people in Australia and Indigenous peoples throughout the Pacific.
As an organisation we are proud of the work we have done to support and represent Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples to protect their Country, land and cultural heritage. That work has taken place across the region and includes cases before courts right now.
As an organisation, we also acknowledge that we have to confront the structural marginalisation which we perpetuate. We have work to do and are committed to continuous improvement. As a start, we will ensure that people involved in hiring EDO staff will undertake implicit bias training and we will require all staff to undertake cultural competency training. Additionally our recently developed strategic plan will see us establish a First Nations and Indigenous peoples program and a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Policy.
As an organisation, we will show leadership within the legal profession and we support calls for Law Societies and Bar Associations to implement compulsory cultural competency training as part of the profession’s continuing professional development standards.
Our staff are committed to speaking up on this issue, but also we’re committed to listening, learning and making space for other voices.