Kaartdjin in 2021

Kaartdjin, The Piddington Society’s First Nations Legal Education Fund, was set up in 2020. In 2021 we made our first contributions.

On the face of it, there are a significant number of scholarships for First Nations students to support their study in law or pre-law.

More First Nations lawyers would be good for justice, the profession and the community overall.

However, these scholarships often miss some crucial aspects of studying law. Many don’t cover books, conference attendance, unpaid internships (such as at community legal centres) and other costs that come up to support a well-rounded law graduate. These can be impediments to the early stages of a career in the law.

That’s why The Piddington Society set up Kaartdjin, our First Nations Legal Education Fund, specifically to support students with these costs that aren’t otherwise covered by scholarships and other funding opportunities.

We want these students to graduate from university and enter the profession with the best start they can have. We think Kaartdjin (Noongar for knowledge) can help support this.

The first two grants have been made, with more expected as the year continues.

The first grant went to a First Nations law student who has held leadership roles in their university and the wider community. The funds were used to set up a home office so they could continue to work and study while caring for their new child.

The second grant went to a First Nations law student who used the funding to cover educational and living expenses, so they could focus on critical assignments for the semester.

The third grant went to a First Nations pre-law student who needed to replace a broken computer during the exam period. This will also assist them with continuing to work.

Kaartdjin, and Piddington’s other Justice Projects, are only possible through the support of the profession who provide us with ongoing support, particularly through attendance at our events. We thank the profession for their engagement in our work.

The Piddington Society is an association of lawyers committed to advancing collegiality and justice.

More information about Kaartdjin can be accessed here.