Golden Bay law student aiming to reform Australian law and reduce Indigenous over representation in prisons


Murdoch University law student Dayna Lazarides.
Murdoch University law student Dayna Lazarides.

GOLDEN Bay resident Dayna Lazarides is one of five Murdoch law students aiming to reform Australian law and reduce the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in prisons.

Students from Murdoch’s third year Social and Welfare Law unit researched the issue of Indigenous incarceration rates and suggested legal measures.

The students’ submissions were accepted by the Australian Law Reform Commission who will now consider changes to laws to help address the problem.

Ms Lazarides said she was happy and proud to have her submission accepted.

“Through the submission process I learned to use a voice I never had before,” she said.

“I also learned about the disadvantages that Indigenous Australians living in very remote areas face”.

Ms Lazarides said writing the submission helped her understand how legislation was not always beneficial to everyone in the community.

“Working within the area of law reform really appealed to me and now I am completing my practical legal training at the Environmental Defender’s Office of Western Australia, where I am assisting in law reform projects daily,” she said.

Murdoch law lecturer Anna Notley, who teaches the unit, said she encouraged all her students to make submissions.

“The professional skill required to write such a submission is highly valued by employers,” she said.

“It is also quite an achievement to have submissions accepted alongside those of judges, social justice lawyers and top policy makers, as our students were for this inquiry.”

The students final report will be tabled in Parliament and released publicly later this year.

MORE: WA’s meth epidemic shows no signs of abating

MORE: St John Ambulance paramedic students put to the test with shark attack exercise

MORE: Perth customers reporting Synergy bill account number “stuff-up”