RLWG is a dynamic team of lawyers, social workers, field officers and paralegals dedicated to assisting those who have suffered injustice to get the compensation (reparation) and legal remedies they deserve. What makes us different from other law firms is our mission to ensure that are our processes are accessible to all, particularly those who may find it difficult to approach mainstream private law firms. We recognise that it can be hard to seek legal help and that this can provide an additional barrier to accessing justice. We also recognise that some groups suffer additional barriers to legal recourse: First Nations people, incarcerated people, those with disabilities and others. Our team – and especially our field officers – have been specifically recruited to improve access, particularly for these marginalised groups.
Reparation: from the Latin verb reparāre, meaning “to repair”.
Withuu Gurlpaa: from the Barkindji language and with permission, meaning “sit, listen and observe”.
RLWG are grateful to Michael “Smacka” Whyman and a number of Barkindji and Malyingapa speakers who worked together to name the service Withuu Gurlpaa, which means “Sit, Listen and Observe”. Our clients – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – have suffered past trauma. We will sit and listen, observe body language and their surroundings (environment). We will work with them to ensure they receive the just outcomes that they deserve.
Our logo combines two themes that are really important to us at Reparation Legal Withuu Gurlpaa. We are grateful to our colleague Cleonie (and her daughter Chloe) for the inspiration and early design work behind Natji. Cleonie is a proud Malyingapa woman from the Barkindji nation.
Natji is the rainbow serpent that lives in the Barka river. The Barkindji people believe that when the river is high, the people thrive. When the river is down, the Elders die and young people commit suicide because the river is hurting. There were reports done in 2010 that reported that when the river was up, the crime rate went down. The children had things to do and could eat healthy. But the reports also found that as soon as the river dropped, the crime rate went up. It’s not only people living in Wilcannia that indicated an increase in crime linked to low water levels, evidence shows it impacts on people in Menindee and right through to Bourke and Walgett. Natji is symbolic of how our environment can impact on crime: if a person is in an environment that thrives, they too will thrive, but when they are in an environment that is struggling and sick, they too will struggle and become sick. We cannot separate our environment from us as a people, we not only have to heal as a people, we also must heal Country, so we can thrive too.
We are also grateful to our colleague Mat for the inspiration behind the second element, the koru spiral, a Māori motif symbolising inner growth, a new life and peace. Incorporated here as a mark of respect to Mat’s Ngapūhi and Te Kapotai ancestors and to growing unity between the First Nations people of Australia and Aoteaora-New Zealand.
Website Art and Designer Acknowledgement
Our website features a closeup of a painting called ‘Minya Kutjara Tjukurpa’. The painting is by Elaine Woods of the Pitjantjatjara language group from the Kanapi community in South Australia.
Our brand identity and logo is courtesy of Clair Parker. Clair is a Tiwi woman raised on Larrakia country also known as Darwin and the Tiwi islands, NT. She is a visual artist, graphic designer, and fashion designer based in Perth, WA. Clair has had a flourishing career in design, having graduated in 2016 from the Whitehouse Institute of Design, where she became the first Aboriginal female graduate. Since then, she’s gone from strength to strength in the fashion and visual arts sectors.
Follow Clair’s journey on Insta: @clairhelen @clairlair