As the new Federal Government indicates its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, dozens of lawyers were treated to a discussion of Aboriginal lore and learning during a special Law Society event this week.
Author of The Dreaming Path, Paul Callaghan, joined Law Sociey of NSW President Joanne van der Plaat for a breakfast event. In an hour-long conversation, the pair discussed how lawyers can adopt the principles of lore in their lives and in their work, with Callaghan reminding the audience “your job is what you do, it’s not who you are.”
Callaghan has a PhD and also runs a cultural consultancy business, describing himself with a small as a “walker of many worlds.”
The Dreaming Path shares with the entire community aspects of the Aboriginal relationship with Country which underpins their connection with each other and the land.
“The timeliness of the message of The Dreaming Path is extraordinary, given the renewed impetus of the Commonwealth Government towards the full implementation of the Uluru Statement From The Heart, as supported by the Law Society of NSW and NSW Young Lawyers,” Ms van der Plaat said.
During the breakfast event at the Law Society of NSW on June 8, marking the first in-person event in the popular Staying Well in the Law series, Callaghan told the audience “what we leave behind is our story, so ask yourself: ‘am I leaving a good story?'”
“Responsibility comes from knowledge … and knowledge that is not shared has no power,” he said.
“The lore belongs to the land, not to the people.”
Callaghan wrote the book alongside respected elder Uncle Paul Gordon whose stories and advice are reproduced throughout. Its success in Australia has led to publishing deals in France and Germany later this year.
“This book, now available to all, has the potential to elevate our ambition from reconciliation to mutual celebration of the most ancient culture on the planet,” van der Plaat said.
“Mr Callaghan’s book advocates all Australians consider seeking connection to Culture and Country to find wellbeing in a world full of anxiety-inducing stressors and worries.
“My first priority as President of the Law Society for 2022 is ‘Supporting the profession’s health and wellbeing’ and I’ve found Paul’s advice to be an invaluable tool for putting the pressures of modern legal practice into perspective.”
The ‘fireside chat’ entitled ‘Staying Well in the Law with Aboriginal Lore’ is one of the Law Society’s ongoing series of sessions designed to help lawyers maintain their health and wellbeing in a very stressful occupation.