At Edwards + Co, we like to do our bit by helping those in need in the community. The primary way we do this is through our Pro Bono program.
Since our establishment, Edwards + Co has supported numerous NFPs and social enterprises by providing corporate and commercial legal services without charge or at heavily reduced rates. Some very recent projects include:
Since 2018, Edwards + Co has been assisting a Simpson desert elder with an exciting and valuable indigenous cultural protection project in Northern Queensland. Don Rowlands OAM, is a Wangkangurru, Yarluyandi elder and Ranger-in-charge of Munga Thirri National Park in Birdsville Queensland. Don’s grandfather, Watti Watti, was the last ritual leader of the Fish Mura Ceremony, a Wangkangurru elder and a custodian of these lands.
Don’s commitment to the Watti Watti project has been a life-long quest to rediscover a cultural heritage, and to protect the identity, location, language and legacy of the Wangkangurru Yarlu-Yandi Gnana Significant Sites. The project involves identifying and collecting sacred Watti Watti stories and mythology that relate to geographical sites within Wangkangurru Yarlu-Yandi country and Munga Thirri National Park, then trekking into the desert to pinpoint these sites on digital maps. A secure and confidential online database is being created to store GPS coordinates and other IP.
Primarily through senior lawyer Kelly Tomasich, Edwards + Co has assisted Don with a number of key legal matters with respect to the Watti Watti Project. Our work to date has included:
For Edwards + Co, it has been interesting and rewarding to be involved with the digitisation and protection of a complex and beautiful form of IP we don’t deal with every day – indigenous language, stories, mythology and locations of sacred sites. The project represents a refreshing example of the use of digital technologies to identify and safeguard ancient information and protect the heritage of local Australian communities.
“As I travel through our beloved Wangkangurru lands I am always conscious of my grandfather, Watti Watti – I want to see my country as he saw it, the smells, the sounds, the stories, the knowledge in the landscape, I see him in the trees and the waterholes, I see him in the sandhills and the gibber plains, he is my guide, he is my inspiration.” Don Rowlands, OAM