Indigenous lawyer elected to Law Society Council

Danielle Captain-Webb

Central Coast Legal Aid lawyer and Board member of the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council, Danielle Captain-Webb, is believed to be the first Indigenous person to be elected to the Council of the Law Society of NSW.

She joins Michelle Meares as one of two Central Coast lawyers on the Council.

“It’s taken 137 years, but the NSW Law Society now has two Aboriginal women leading the organisation – CEO Sonja Stewart and myself (on the Council),” Captain-Webb said.

“This is a significant milestone for the legal profession – which is embracing cultural diversity.

“I look forward to ensuring that my profession is a culturally safe place for Aboriginal lawyers and the Aboriginal community more broadly.”

Captain-Webb said she was encouraged to join the Law Society by Meares.

“I first met Michelle through our participation in Suzy Miller’s Opportunity Collective – Women’s Leadership program,” she said.

“I am really grateful to have such strong female role models in my life who have continued to encourage and believe in me.

“My appointment to the NSW Law Society marks an exciting time for the Central Coast legal profession.

“Our representation will now increase to two; it is really important that voices of regional lawyers are represented on our peak body and I am sure that Michelle and I will be able to achieve a great deal.

“I am hoping to bring a cultural lens to the Law Society regarding issues that impact Aboriginal people.

“I want to be a voice for Aboriginal solicitors within the profession and Aboriginal people more broadly, especially on the issues that significantly impact First Nations people (over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody, child removal, deaths in custody etc).”

Working with Legal Aid NSW from its Gosford office, Captain-Webb’s chief role is as a criminal solicitor appearing at both Gosford and Wyong Courts.

“I am currently on a short secondment to Legal Aid’s Head Office as a Senior Law Reform Officer but work from home,” she said.

Captain-Webb is also looking at how Aboriginal Land Councils can activate their land and assets for the good of their communities into the future.

“Some land councils across NSW are now transcending into activating land to create economic wealth,” she said.

“This allows us to achieve social, economic, cultural, and environmental outcomes for our community.”

Terry Collins