Visitors to Melbourne Law School have included Indigenous scholars, researchers, community and practitioners working in the area of Indigenous people and the law, justice, race and treaty.
Professor Jacinta Ruru, University of Otago, (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
University of Otago (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Jacinta is the Co-Director, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence Nga Pae o te Maramatanga. She currently teaches into the Laws 101 programme and is building a thriving Indigenous law post-graduate programme. Her research interests include:
- Indigenous Peoples comparative law (including rights to own, govern and manage water, land, marine area, minerals and national parks)
- Māori land law including Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Family law and Māori
- Environmental Law and Māori, Law and landscapes
- Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal history
Jacinta is also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies
Dr Crystal McKinnon (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Indigenous Scholar in Residence
Crystal McKinnon is a Yamatji woman and is currently working at RMIT as a Vice Chancellor's Indigenous Research Fellow, where she sits within the Social Change Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) and an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Project, Indigenous Leaders: Lawful Relations from Encounter to Treaty. The Discovery Indigenous project looks at lawful encounters between the State and Aboriginal communities of Victoria as historic sovereign practices that may inform current Treaty practices.
Her work has looked at concepts of Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous resistance through the use of the creative arts, including music and literature. Crystal is the co-editor of History, Power and Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies (UTS ePress, 2014), and her work has been published in several books and journals, including Making Settler Colonial Space: Perspectives on Race, Place and Identity (Palgrave, 2010), the Alternative Law Journal, and Biography.
She has extensive governance experience having previously served for a number of years on the Boards of both Flat Out and of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Associated Limited, and she is currently a director on the Board of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and she sits on the steering committee for the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women. Crystal has previously worked in both the Aboriginal community organisation and the community legal centre sectors.
Professor Thalia Anthony
Professor Thalia Anthony researches Indigenous people and the law, with specialisation in Indigenous justice mechanisms and systemic racism in criminal law and procedure. Her research is grounded in legal history and understandings of the colonial legacy in legal institutions. Professor Anthony has developed new approaches to researching and understanding the role of the criminal law in governing Indigenous communities. Her research is developed in conjunction with Indigenous organisations in Australia and overseas. She has written influential books Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (Routledge 2013) and a Decolonising Criminology (Palgrave 2019). She currently leads an Australian Research Council project that introduces Aboriginal justice reports in sentencing in Australia.
Jonathan Rudin received his LLB and LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School. In 1990 he was hired to establish Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and has been with ALST ever since. Currently he is the Program Director. Mr. Rudin has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada including representing ALST before the Supreme Court in R v. Ipeelee. Mr. Rudin has written and spoken widely on issues of Aboriginal justice. He co-wrote the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples’ report on Justice – Bridging the Cultural Divide- and was a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Ipperwash Inquiry. Mr. Rudin also teaches on a part-time basis in the Law and Society Program at York University. Last but not least, he plays the mandolin and sings with Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, a group that plays regularly in Toronto and has a number of videos on YouTube.
Associate Professor Sana Nakata (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Associate Professor Sana Nakata is Associate Dean, Indigenous and co-director of the Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration at the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne. Trained as a lawyer and political theorist, her research is centred upon developing an approach for thinking politically about childhood in ways that improve the capacity of adult decision-makers to act in their interests.
She has recently completed an ARC Discovery Indigenous Research Fellowship examining Representations of Children in Australian Political Controversies (2016-2019). She is the author of Childhood Citizenship, Governance and Policy (2015), and along with co-director Sarah Maddison, edits the Springer book series: Indigenous Settler Relations in Australia and the World.
- Event: Legal Pluralism
- Member, Advisory Board, Indigenous Law and Justice Hub
Mary Spiers Williams (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Researcher, Australian National University, (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
In 2019 Mary Spiers Williams accepted a joint appointment between the National Centre for Indigenous Studies and the College of Arts and Social Sciences as Subdean for Undergraduate Indigenous Studies. Mary will return full-time to the ANU Law School in 2022. Mary continues to teach Criminal Law there, and facilitates the at ANU College of Law's plan for action under the ANU Reconciliation Action Plan.
Mary currently teaches Indigenous political, civil and legal rights in Australia and convenes the ANU's Undergraduate Indigenous Studies Programme at the ANU. She leads the Interdisciplinary Social Justice Research Hub.
- Event: Legal Pluralism
Dr Baz Dreisinger
Dr. Dreisinger works at the intersection of race, crime, culture and justice. She earned her Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, specializing in American and African-American studies. At John Jay she is the Founding Academic Director of John Jay's Prison-to-College Pipeline program, which offers college courses and reentry planning to incarcerated men at Otisville Correctional Facility, and broadly works to increase access to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Dr. Dreisinger's book Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World (2016) was heralded by the New York Times, NPR and many more, and was named a notable book of 2016 by the Washington Post. Professor Dreisinger moonlights as a journalist and critic, writing about Caribbean culture, race-related issues, travel, music and pop culture for such outlets as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, and producing on-air segments about music and global culture for National Public Radio (NPR). Her first book Near Black: White-to-Black Passing in American Culture (2008) was featured in the New York Times and on NPR and CNN. Together with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer, Professor Dreisinger produced and wrote the two nationally aired documentaries about hip-hop, criminal justice and the prison industrial complex. She regularly speaks about justice reform and prison issues on popular news media and in international settings.
Dr. Dreisinger was named a 2017-2018 Global Fulbright Scholar and is working to internationally replicate the Prison-to-College Pipeline, with a focus on the Caribbean and South Africa. She is currently working on a road map for how prison-to-college pipelines and restorative justice can replace mass incarceration as a system of justice.
Professor Angela Riley (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Angela R. Riley is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Director of UCLA's Native Nations Law and Policy Center. She directs the J.D./M.A. joint degree program in Law and American Indian Studies and is the UCLA campus representative on issues related to repatriation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Professor Riley's research focuses on indigenous peoples’ rights, with a particular emphasis on cultural property and Native governance. Her work has been published in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal and numerous others.
- Event: Owning ‘Red’: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation event
Dr Christine Black (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Dr C.F. Black is the Indigenous Scholar in Residence at the Melbourne Law School. She is also an Associate Professor adjunct to the Griffith University Centre for Coastal Management. Dr Black is a descendant of both the Kombumerri and Munaljahlai peoples. Whilst at the Melbourne Law School She has a PhD from the Griffith Law School. Her thesis focused on bringing forth the concept of Indigenous Jurisprudence in the Australian context. Black has made story her ‘legal structure’ in which to convey knowledge pertinent to the understanding that the Land (Earth) as the source of the law, as juxtaposed to the Common Law concept of land as property.
A future publication with Routledge will take this same legal stand point to discuss the ethics of Autonomous Algorithmic decision-making systems (AADMS) through the lens of mythology and ancient stories. She is also developing research with Native American and South American colleagues around the understanding of plant consciousness and the role of plants in Indigenous societies as knowledge holders. Her first publication on the issue is On Lives Lived with Law: Land as Healer, (Law, Text Culture Jl.). Her key research areas: Indigenous Jurisprudence, ethical issues relating Artificial Intelligence and other related technology, landscape and plant consciousness.
Professor John Borrows (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
Senior Fellow (Melbourne Law Masters) (Indigenous Scholar in Residence)
John Borrows BA, MA, JD, LLM (Toronto), PhD (Osgoode Hall Law School), LLD (Hons, Dalhousie & Law Society of Upper Canada) FRSC, is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School in British Columbia. His publications include Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2002); Canada’s Indigenous Constitution (Canadian Law and Society Best Book Award 2011); Drawing Out Law: A Spirit’s Guide (2010); Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2016); and The Right Relationship (with Michael Coyle, Ed.), all from the University of Toronto Press. John is Anishinaabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Canada
Melbourne Law Masters
- Member, Advisory Board, Indigenous Law and Justice Hub