The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) will conduct its first event at the Parramatta Registry on 23 May 2014 to celebrate the spirit of National Reconciliation Week which is officially held between 27 May and 3 June.

The FCC is the largest federal court and deals with approximately 85% of federal family law filings as well as general federal law matters such as immigration, bankruptcy and human rights.

The Court recently became the first Australian court to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which was launched on 30 March 2014.  Following on from that commitment other Registries of the FCC will host a local meeting or event to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week and to discuss the Court’s RAP.

The event in Parramatta will provide a unique opportunity for community members to visit the Court and observe it in operation as well as to learn about both the FCC and other stakeholders such as the Aboriginal Legal Service, Legal Aid and Family Relationship Centres.

Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, John Pascoe AO CVO said the RAP was part of the Federal Circuit Court’s ongoing efforts to ensure equitable access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by adopting real and practical measures to achieve reconciliation.

“Entering into a Reconciliation Plan with Reconciliation Australia is a significant achievement for the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and an historical moment in Australia’s reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

“My hope is that this plan, and the local events that we are hosting throughout Australia, will demonstrate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that they can approach the Court with confidence and that it is attuned to their needs, particularly in family law proceedings,” said Chief Judge Pascoe.

During the launch of the FCC RAP Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair, Dr Tom Calma AO, welcomed the development of the Court’s RAP and other FCC initiatives.

“The Federal Circuit Court has taken the time to widely consult with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and legal services in a way that I do not believe has ever happened before and the result is a document that will challenge every other court in the land to emulate it,” said Dr Calma.

The Parramatta reconciliation event is open to the public and the Court encourages organisations, businesses and general members of the community to come along to learn about the Court and its Reconciliation Action Plan.

Parramatta event details:

Activities will commence at 8:45am with a welcome to country and acknowledgement and reading of the 2007 apology.  The Aboriginal flag will then be raised to acknowledge Reconciliation Week.

From 9:30-11am community members will be able to obtain information about the Court as well as from the various agencies who work within the Court.

From 11-11:45am there will be morning tea with a number of presentations and an opportunity to discuss the RAP and ask any questions about the Court

For information about other National Reconciliation Week events, visit:

http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/events/