stilllieinthepathofIndigenouspeoples,say in achieving formal constitutional equality, let alone substantive equality. In her feedback one student described her ‘Aaah moment’, afterwhichshefounditeasiertobeeithercriticalorsympathetic onIndigenousissuesasnecessary. Theultimateaimoftheunit therefore, to cite this student, is to enable each student to reach their own‘Aaah’momentinthisarea.However,toexpectaninstitution, orevenonegenerationtodoallthat,itisnecessary(tousethewords of Olney J in another context) to ‘wash away’86 the historical tide of oppression — something that is probably quite unrealistic.
Yet there is reason for optimism, as students taking the unit are largelyself-selecting,self-motivated,self-directedandeagertomake adifference.Inmostcases,theyarenaïveenoughtobelievethat theycanindividually make adifference, andprobablyclever and motivated enough to actually change their world through their legal careers. Therefore,harnessingthisgoodwill,youthfulexuberance and desire for justice, and giving them the confidence and skills to engagewithouropenpoliticalsystem,isnotanunrealisticaim. A greater level of confidence to deal positively and affirmatively with Indigenous peoples will further enhance their abilities and skills, already developed to high degree by an excellent law program. Not only arming students with knowledge and skills, but also fostering empathy and inspiring the desire and passion for change, is an important role that all universities can and must play in healing the lingering symptoms of the historic sore of Indigenous dispossession and discrimination.
85 Jon Altman and Susie Russell, ‘Too much ‘Dreaming’: Evaluations of the Northern TerritoryNationalEmergencyResponseIntervention2007–2012’, (2012) 3 Evidence Base .