David Allinson has been at Graduate House since November 2014, is a final year JD student at the Melbourne Law School, and is currently an intern at the Yawoorroong Miriwoong Gajirrawoong Yirrgeb Noong Dawang Aboriginal Corporation in Kununurra, in the East Kimberley region of WA. He was previously a policy officer at the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (Qld) and a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney. He holds an honours degree in philosophy, and has been an active member of a wide variety of community organisations. He is also Vice President of the Graduate House Student Group (GHSG).
The Kimberley region of WA is beautiful. The earth here is a deep, rich red. Watching a tropical storm blow in from a nearby knob at sunset on Wednesday was indescribably beautiful. Kununurra, where I’m staying, is also hot. Very hot. Most of my time off is spent embracing an air-conditioning unit; temperatures stay well over 40 degrees during the day. My first impression of Kununurra was humbling; I am easily one of the best off people in this community despite my budget accommodation. The people here are also very friendly. I’ve already made lots of connections with other workers, interns, locals, and backpackers. Most people seems to leave over the Christmas period. So while many of those people are leaving this week, I hope that over the coming month I’ll have the opportunity to settle in a bit and experience more of this beautiful (and hot, oh boy is it hot) place.
The legal experience I am obtaining at Miriwoong Gajirrawoong Corporation is excellent. The small size of the legal team means that I was immediately given a lot of responsibility and trust to provide advice on complicated legal problems. When I arrived, and despite the small size of the team, the time was taken to give me a comprehensive overview of the issues facing MG Corporation, and the work I would be involved with. The work is very diverse: my first week has had me dealing with admin law, corporate law, trusts law, property law, as well as the attendant issues related to native title. It has been challenging, but very rewarding, to quickly get to grips with the legislative and regulatory environment that native title corporations operate in. I am also very glad to be under the instruction of the wonderful Dominique Reeves, Senior Legal Counsel. Her humour and patience have already inspired in me the confidence that I will both learn a lot, and have fun, over the next month.