26September 2008

Dennis_Eggington_ALSWA_CEO_v2Media Statement

26September 2008

ALSWA honoured with Inaugural National Award

We are very proud to announce that the inaugural National ‘ATSILS Employee of the Year Award’ has been awarded to Katrina Carlisle, Manager of Legal Services at the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (ALSWA).

This Award was established by the Attorney General’s Department in acknowledgement of the outstanding contribution that an individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) staff member makes to their own community and the broader Australian community.

ALSWA CEO Mr. Dennis Eggington accepted the Award on behalf of Ms. Carlisle when it was announced at the National ATSILS Conference in Canberra recently.

Speaking after the announcement, he said “I am just so proud of Katrina Carlisle who shows great dedication, enthusiasm and leadership in her work with ALSWA. Katrina’s own efforts and commitment have played a significant role in empowering many of our people who have sought counsel from ALSWA over the years, and she continually strives to ensure that there is a better and more equitable future for our people.

It is wonderful that the Attorney General’s Department have established this important award to acknowledge the vital contribution made by ATSILS staff around the country” said Mr. Eggington.

Commencing work as a Court Officer with ALSWA in 1995, Katrina, A Wongi woman from the Goldfields region of Western Australia, has worked in a variety of roles including Senior Court Officer, Manager of the Court Officers Unit, Women’s Contact Officer, Deputy CEO/Executive Officer and is now ALSWA’s Manager of Legal Services.

A mother of three, she was thrilled to receive the Award and humbled that it was given in acknowledgement of her outstanding dedication and loyalty to her family, ALSWA and community, and contribution to delivering justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia.

“When I was told I won the Award I didn’t believe it – it was an honour to be nominated and to receive the award. I don’t believe I work any harder than any other individual at ALSWA or within the National ATSILS arena. We all work in the ATSILS environment because we share a strong sense of social justice, and each and every person is deserving of recognition for the work they do. I hope that I can represent their efforts and interests adequately” said Ms. Carlisle.

Whilst acknowledging that the work undertaken by ALSWA is often challenging and at times, disheartening, Ms. Carlisle said “…it is the small differences I can make through my work to the community and even to one person’s life. To hear thanks from a client for our work is so very rewarding and is often the impetus which keeps me on track and working hard to achieve some sort of change in the wider community.

I’d like to thank ALSWA for nominating me and supporting me during my career, and the opportunities they have given me. I’d also like to acknowledge all of ALSWA’s staff who have enabled me the flexibility to work in a great environment with them. I would also say this Award is accepted on behalf of ALSWA and its staff and Executive Committee who work tirelessly to promote the rights and interests of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities of Western Australia.

Katrina is proud of the work being done by ATSILS, who, since the early 1970’s, have played an invaluable role across Australia in providing legal support and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The key stakeholders in Indigenous law and justice issues, ATSILS provide a culturally sensitive service, whilst also making an important contribution to justice, advocacy and law reform.

The 2008 ATSILS Employee of the Year Award includes a glass trophy, a certificate and sponsorship for professional development opportunities which will enable Katrina to embark on a Diploma in Business focusing on Human Resources and investigate further Community Management Studies.

The Attorney-General’s Department will continue to sponsor this Award annually.