Teela Reid - 2020 the Year of Reckoning

Teela Reid is a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman, lawyer and activist born and raised in Gilgandra western NSW. She is currently a defence lawyer based in Sydney. Her recent essay in the Griffith Review titled: '2020 – The year of reckoning, not reconciliation. It’s time to show up!' is an impassioned call to action - https://www.griffithreview.com/articles/2020-year-of-reckoning/.

Teela obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Newcastle and commenced her professional career as a high school PE teacher. She then completed her postgraduate Juris Doctor/Law from UNSW Law Sydney and was named on the UNSW Law Deans Women of Excellence List. Upon graduation, Teela was appointed tipstaff to her Honour Justice Lucy McCallum of the NSW Supreme Court.

Teela was the first Aboriginal person to be elected on the UNSW Law Society as Vice-President (Social Justice), where she was the founding director of the UNSW Law First Peoples Moot. She was also the Inaugural recipient of the NSW Indigenous Barristers Trust award.

Teela lived abroad in Canada where she studied Indigenous epistemology where she learned about First Nations Treaty processes. She was also selected as a Global Emerging Leader & a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School. The catalyst for her changing to a career from teaching to law was her appointment as Australia’s Indigenous Female Youth Delegate at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She was elected by her peers as the Secretariat of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus.

Teela was involved as a working group leader on s 51(xxvi), the Races Power, in the Constitutional dialogue process that culminated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

In 2017, Teela was selected to attend Harvard University as a global Emerging Leader. On her return to Australia, Teela fearlessly took Prime Minister Turnbull to task on Q&A after his dismissal of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

In this online forum she speaks on the campaign for the Uluru Statement, the anniversary of 250 years of 'unfinished business' since the arrival of James Cook, the prospects for activism under covid19 restrictions, and particularly the concept of 'reckoning' as outlined in her recent Griffith Review essay- “2020 – The year of reckoning, not reconciliation. It’s time to show up!



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