LLB (UNSW), BA (Curtin)
Anika Valenti is Senior Associate at Terri Janke and Company. She innovatively combines her background in the film and television industry as a production manager and coordinator, as well as her work in the not-for-profit and private legal sectors to deliver holistic and creative advice. She provides a culturally competent and solutions-orientated approach by utilising national instruments and international standards of best practice to meet client’s expectations and ensure clients are afforded legal protection for their organisations and businesses and their cultural heritage and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).
Photo by Jamie James
Anika has over 12 years’ experience in the legal profession and has built an extensive practice assisting clients with commercial and corporate matters and the protection of cultural heritage and ICIP. Anika’s work extends to business incorporation and governance support, Indigenous procurement, commercial contracting and negotiation, employment law, consumer law, intellectual property protection and management, privacy and confidentiality, protection of ICIP, and advancement of Indigenous Data Sovereignty. She navigates the limitations of the western legal system to pioneer a path for the recognition and protection of First Nations rights for her clients.
Anika’s expertise, professionalism and sensitivities to cultural considerations enables her to build long-lasting relationships with clients built on mutual respect, understanding and trust. She connects with a wide variety of clients including First Nations individuals and community groups, creatives and business entrepreneurs, state and national institutions, government agencies and the wider business sector.
Advocating for policy reform and advancement of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) to the Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Inquiry into the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and presented at the 2023 Australian Digital Alliance Copyright Forum on legal developments towards standalone ICIP legislation.
Invitation to join the inaugural First Nations Certification Coalition, established to develop guidelines for best practice in the certification of Australian native foods and botanicals, and to develop recommendations for a standardised certification system and governance models for First Nations organisations and businesses.
Engaged to assist with the implementation of the Victorian Traditional Owners Native Food and Botanicals Strategy. In consultation with traditional owner groups, Anika developed a best practice industry Cultural Protocol, Access & Benefit Sharing Framework and Agreement, and Accreditation (Labelling) System for the Victorian Native Food and Botanicals Industry.
Led the consultation and report development of the State of Victoria’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Report 2016-2021, being the inaugural report of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic).
Developed practical guides for First Nations organisations and businesses in the native foods and botanicals industry - Setting up for Success: Bushfoods and Protection of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge for Bushfood Businesses.
As General Counsel, Anika assists various clients with ongoing governance, employment, intellectual property, ICIP and commercial advice.
Supports clients in the respectful collection and management of Indigenous Data consistent with recognition of Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance principles.
Develops best practice First Nations engagement strategies, ICIP protocols and free, prior and informed consent policies for industries, organisations and projects, such as the National Library of Australia ICIP Protocol.
Senior Associate of the Year (Lawyers Weekly Law Awards) 2023
Excellence Award (Lawyers Weekly Law Awards) 2023
Finalist, Mentor of the Year (Lawyers Weekly Law Awards) 2023
Finalist, Innovator of the Year (Lawyers Weekly Law Awards) 2023
Senior Associate of the Year (Australian Law Awards) 2022
Innovator of the Year (Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards) 2021
Finalist, Innovator of the Year (Australian Law Award) 2022
Anika delivers ongoing educational and training workshops to raise awareness of business, contracting, governance, procurement, intellectual property and ICIP rights and obligations, as well as Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Access and Benefit Sharing, and facilitate the process of truth-telling at the community, industry, state and national level.
As part of her work, Anika regularly consults with Traditional Owners, community groups and organisations to empower self-determination. Anika enables capacity building in communities that may not have access to or skillsets in applying the law and has positively reshaped the relationship many Indigenous peoples have with the legal system to increase positive participation, engagement and leadership.