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Emma Fitch
BA/LLB (1st Class Hons) GDLP (UC) LLM (ANU)

Emma Fitch

Solicitor

Expertise

Emma is a non-Indigenous lawyer at Terri Janke and Company. Her areas of specialty include water, legal policy, legislative development, and governance with federal, state and local governments and not-for-profits. Emma has also worked with law enforcement, family violence and the community sector. Emma is passionate about supporting First Nations people and organisations to achieve their goals, around land, sea and freshwater Country, and in all walks of life.

Photo by Andrew Pitt

Experience

Emma was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory in August 2016, after graduating from the University of Canberra with a double Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours. Emma completed her Masters in International Law in 2020 from the Australian National University, graduating with Commendation, specialising in water law, First Nations governance, and peace and conflict. She grew up on Ngunnawal Country (Canberra) and came to TJC and to live on Gadigal Country (Sydney) after working for a decade in the public sector, universities and not-for-profits. Emma is also a published writer and has written articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals and publications, relating to her passions including free, prior and informed consent for First Nations communities, and women and the law.


Recent Projects

· Project lead on the Independent Review into ABC Systems and Processes in Support of Staff who Experience Racism, and further investigative projects into cultural safety;

· Project lead on the First Nations led governance for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery;

· Project lead on the governance for Traditional Owner led management of the Great Barrier Reef;

· Advising on commissions and inquiries, including on the rights of First Nations people and women;

· Drafting agreements to assert the rights of First Nations people to their heritage;

· Consulting and providing reports, protocols and policies for a range of organisations across the government, arts, development, environmental, community, health and university sectors;

· Reforming organisational governance to better reflect First Nations issues, needs and voices;

· Delivering governance training and facilitating strategic planning to strengthen organisations.


Community

Emma is former Board Director and Co-Vice President of YWCA Canberra, and a former Board Director of the Ginninderra Catchment Group. Emma loves all things water, professionally and personally. Following on from her governmental legal policy work around freshwater and the Murray-Darling Basin, including a Jawun secondment to the Ngarrindjeri Nation (South Australia), Emma’s passion for water extended to the marine space. Emma completed a course in marine habitat conservation and restoration in 2020, with a focus on community-led conservation projects. On the weekends you can find her freediving, swimming and exploring in her 4WD, and hanging with her camp dog, who is originally from Yawuru Country (Broome).

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