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Indigenous Alumna Speaks On Native Title

On Wednesday 7 July, Alumna Marcia Sullivan returned to Bond to give a guest lecture for students on Native Title and share her career experiences. Marcia was the first in her family to graduate from university and the fist aboriginal student to graduate from Bond with a Bachelor of Laws in 1992.

Following her mother’s advice, “if you want to get somewhere, you need to be educated,” Marcia was the first of her 10 siblings to earn a Junior Certificate in High school. She then worked as a clerk for 17.5 years in the Cloncurry Department of Justice where she discovered her interest in law.

At the age of 38 with two teenage daughters, Marcia commenced her legal studies at Bond, proving it is never too late to pursue your dreams. She excelled her first two semesters and upon beginning her third she was offered the ‘Jabiru’ scholarship which funded the rest of her studies. Marcia graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Bond University in 1992. The following year she received her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Queensland University of Technology and was admitted to practice as a Solicitor of Supreme Court of Queensland.

Since completing her studies, Marcia has worked as an advocate for indigenous rights. Her career highlight was two years after finishing her degree when she won a case on unfair dismissal. This was the first time Marcia saw her degree make a major impact on someone’s life.

Currently Marcia works as a solicitor with the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, working in areas of domestic and family violence, victims of crime, and family law. In this role Marcia follows the Magistrates Court Circuit to remote communities around Australia, assisting those with the greatest need. Though the Service’s primary focus is on Australia’s indigenous population, no one in need is turned away regardless of their nationality.

A typical day is unpredictable as Marcia takes on many roles apart from her legal one. Often times she provides counselling, support and friendship for those who would otherwise be left alone. Marcia believes the most rewarding part of her work is “knowing what you are doing is having an impact on people’s lives”. 

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