Knowledge, Understanding andAwareness Theaim,fromapedagogical perspective,andwithoutbeing prescriptive, is to make the scope of learning required in the first limb manageable within the resource constraints of a university teachingframework. Thatis,toenablestudentstogainanadequate knowledge and understanding through an undergraduate university course — or, in higher degree research courses, a deeper, more detailed knowledge and understanding.
Thesecondpartofthefirstlimbrequiresan‘ of Indigenousprotocols’. Atafunctionallevelthisisamodest requirement.Forexamplethiscouldmeanbeingawareofthevarious ethical clearance protocolsthatinstitutionsincludinguniversities have in place for undertaking research with Indigenous subjects as boththeinstitutionandtheIndigenouscommunitiesrequire. While lawyersarenotboundbytheseprotocolsperseinpractice,requiring lawyerstohaveanawarenessatleastoftheseprotocolsisperhaps averymodestrequirement. ThereismuchmoretoIndigenous protocolsthanisindicated briefly hereotherthantonotethat such awareness should be seen as a first step only.
The UACC definition is not a legal definition. Nonetheless, it adequately captures the broad elements and provides a reasonable basisforadaption. Thusforexampleinpractice,fora‘working definition’the scope UACC definition could be read down to mean a ‘(reasonable or adequate) knowledge’and perhaps also a ‘(reasonable or adequate) understanding’, ‘of (one or more) Indigenous Australiancultures’.Theterm‘cultures’shouldberead quitebroadlytoincludewhatHisHonourJusticeFinnreferredtoas
‘a plain English definition of the different possible societies’, which include localised regional (Indigenous) groups and broader regional (Indigenous) groups, which could encompass variations such as distinct groups of languages.12 B The Skills Element The second limb consists of the development of practical skills and experience to apply the theoretical knowledge gained through formalstudy.Inlawschoolsthisisusuallyachievedtosomebasic
12 Akiba v Queensland (No 2)  FCA663 . extent through clinical programs and after graduation through practicallegaltrainingprogramssuchasthe ANU’sGraduate DiplomainLegalPractice(GDLP). Thisisofferedunderdifferent namesbymanylawschoolsandotherinstitutions.AttheANUneither theclinicalnortheGDLPprogramhasaspecificICCdevelopment component;thisisagapthatneedstobeaddressedinthefuture.To thisendtheANUisundertakinganauditofitslawunitswiththeaim ofidentifyinghowICCcanbestrengthenedwithintheframeworkof the current constraints.
Itisunlikelythatlawstudentswillbetrulyculturally competent even to deal with a local Indigenous community at the end of their degrees. Atminimum,however,theirknowledgeandawareness should sensitise them to the vast gap that could exist in practice betweenthecommunities.Therearemanyrelevantissues,afew ofwhichareraisedhereforillustration. TheLawCouncilofSouth Australia, for example, has created a helpful document for lawyers dealingdirectlywithlocalAboriginalclients.13Theprotocolscapture thefrustrationofan Aboriginalclientwhosaid‘Dealingwiththe whitefella lawislike playing football whentheotherteam andthe umpire are applying basketball rules’.14Acquiring the necessary skills to deal with these frustrations, including the difficulty of tackling thecomplexissuesfacingIndigenouswomeninrural towns,isalsoakey‘accesstojustice’issueforgovernments.15
TheHighCourthasrecognisedthat‘AboriginalAustraliansasa group are subject to social and economic disadvantage measured across a range of indices’, which may in cases have an enduring effect with attendant legal consequences.16 Gray et al refer to the range of equitable issues that must be considered when dealing with disadvantaged communities generally, but specifically addressing their case study in Indigenous communities.17 Physical barriers such asahighlevelofhearinglossamongAboriginalpeoplesmakecourt processes difficult and compound inadequate English language competency issues.18 Ideally the university sector will be able to provideappropriateclinical programsthataddressthesetypesof issuesnotonlyforgraduateswhowillpracticelawbutalsofor other who will work in legal policy areas — for example those who workcloselywiththeAboriginalLegalServices(iftheysurvivethe 13 LawSocietyofSouthAustralia,Lawyers’ProtocolsforDealingwithAboriginal
Clients in SouthAustralia (1sted, 23August 2010).
14 Ibid, 4.
15 Judy Putt and Kate Crowley, Working with adolescents to prevent domestic violence: rural town model (Canberra,Attorney General’s Department (Cth)
16 Bugmy v The Queen  HCA37 (2 October 2013).
17 MCGray,BHHunterandJ Taylor,Healthexpenditure,IncomeandHealthStatus AmongIndigenousandOtherAustralians(CentreforAboriginalEconomicPolicy Research 2002) 5.
18 Law Society of SouthAustralia, above n 13, 19. current changes in government policy), the community legal sector, NGOs and the many other public and private organisations such as the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).19
Indigenous people have a civilisation and culture which is significantlydifferentfromthemajority Anglo-Europeanculture. These differences clearly necessitate specific and appropriate approaches if problems and issues are to be addressed sensibly and tothesatisfactionthatisexpectedinafirstworldeconomy.Positive statements bygovernments andleaders inthe broader community createsomeexpectationsonthepartoftheIndigenouscommunitythat their needs, including legal services, will be addressedbymeasures that are appropriate, targeted and of the same standard and quality enjoyedbythemainstream.ThemassmediasuchastheAustralian BroadcastingCorporationorNITV,theIndigenousTVChanel,have beguntoeducateviewersaboutthemajorityofIndigenousprotocols and customary norms that apply widely, although perhaps not universally,amongIndigenouscommunities. Theneedforholistic and comprehensive programs that address Indigenous communities, however,remainsundiminished.Thatthereisanimplicitrequirement that legal service providers be competent to deliver such programs hasbeenrecognisedwidely.20 Thesebroaderattributesincludethe skill needed to address the feeling of impotence among Indigenous menandtheassociatedissuesofalcoholandviolencethatputmany meninanadversarialsituationvis-à-visthelaw.21 Lawyersshould also knowand understand the supportmechanisms that are in place within Indigenous communities to deal with historical issues and to acquire the necessary skills to workwith, and in concert with, these mechanisms so that this cooperation will bring about the optimal social benefits to Indigenous communities while remaining true to their obligations as officers of the Court.22These are aspirational targetsbeingconsideredbyIndigenouslawacademicsatconferences and seminars with a view to realising such change in the not too distantfuture.Buttheclockistickingontheseissues.Aspirations of Indigenous communities being served by a legal profession that understands them was proposed in 199323 — an aspiration that remains unfulfilled 20 years on.