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Laura Melrose
BInSt LLB (UNSW)

Laura Melrose

Solicitor

Areas of Practice

Laura has been a solicitor with Terri Janke and Company since July 2021. She uses creative law and policy approaches to deliver unique solutions to clients with a focus on care and protection of First Nations culture. Laura has expertise in intellectual property and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), native title, cultural heritage and environmental law, and human rights advocacy. She specialises in Country-focused projects, Indigenous Data Sovereignty, policy development and review, and agreement-making. Laura is also a regular presenter of TJC’s True Tracks® ICIP Workshop, and has prepared and delivered bespoke workshops to a variety of audiences, and at conferences.


Experience

Laura was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in October 2020, after graduating with distinction from UNSW in 2019. She has over five years’ experience in the legal profession and is building a diverse legal practice of cultural heritage, IP and ICIP, and commercial matters. She has worked on copyright and trade mark matters, employment law, privacy and data sharing, and corporate governance. Laura is experienced in consulting with key stakeholders and has drafted impactful and tailored policies and protocols for a variety of clients, including Aboriginal corporations, government agencies, museums and galleries, universities, and other organisations. Laura is also a writer and has published articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals and publications including the Alternative Law Journal and the Australian Environment Review.

​Photo by Jamie James

Recent projects

  • - In Nov 2023, Laura travelled to several Torres Strait Islands to consult with Traditional Owners for an ICIP Protocol for the Torres Strait Regional Authority Land and Sea Management Unit;

  • In 2023, Laura drafted the Dhawura Ngilan Business and Investor Initiative Guidesfor leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage management by the private sector;

  • In 2022-23, Laura project managed a comprehensive review into First Nations engagement and governance at the Sydney Opera House;

  • In 2022, Laura co-presented at the AIATSIS Summit on Kabi Kabi Country about protecting intangible cultural heritage in the native title process;

  • In 2021/22 Laura managed a policy project with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning to develop a pioneering Indigenous Data Sovereignty Policy in collaboration with Victorian Traditional Owners;

  • In 2021, Laura co-wrote a report for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000-year-old caves at Juukan Gorge, which contributed to the final Inquiry report, A Way Forward;

  • Author, Emerging trends in Australian climate change litigation: Bringing the heat, Alternative Law Journal (2022)

  • Co-author, Bushfires, climate change and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: healing country through holistic environmental management, Australian Environment Review (2021)


Community

Laura is the Communications Officer of the NSW Chapter of Pride in Law, Australia’s national association for LGBTIQA+ legal professionals and students. She has also previously volunteered and worked for the Australian Human Rights Institute, the UNSW Human Rights Clinic, and other community legal centres. On her days off you will most often find her by the ocean – she loves SCUBA diving, freediving and mermaid diving, surfing, cryptic crosswords, and spending as much time as possible camping out in the bush.

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