Conduct Of Native Title Lawyer Ron Bower Outrages Yindjibarndi Community
The WA Supreme Court heard on Monday that veteran native title lawyer, Ron William Bower, of Perth legal firm Corser & Corser, and one of his clients, “pressured” an elderly Yindjibarndi woman into signing an Interlocutory Injunction Application seeking to stop the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) AGM going ahead this week.
When Mavis Pat’s statement condemning Mr Bower and Monday’s Interlocutory Injunction Application was presented in the Court, lawyers for Wirlu-Murra immediately struck her off as a plaintiff, then pressed ahead with the action on behalf of the remaining two plaintiffs, Aileen Sandy and Sylvia Allen.
Maisie Pat said that her family, and especially her mother Mavis, had been through a lot since the tragic death of their 17 year-old son and brother, John Pat, in the cells of the Roebourne lock-up in 1983, and that the actions of FMG and Andrew Forrest in splitting the community, were re-opening unhealed trauma: “Where is the justice in this system for our people? There is none. All we get is these white fellas come into our community and tell us what to do all the time. We are sick of it. We are entitled to be respected.”
Maisie Pat said, “I would like to meet face to face with Andrew Forrest. I would like to give him a piece of my mind. He is doing the wrong thing – ‘you are dividing our family that was once close’.”
Mr Michael Woodley, CEO of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, confirmed that a YAC director’s meeting today unanimously resolved to lodge a complaint against Mr Bowers’ unprofessional conduct to the WA Legal Profession Complaints Committee, and to support Mavis Pat in seeking a restraining order against Mr Ron Bower and all agents of Corser & Corser.
Mr Woodley said, “We are outraged by Mr Bower’s harassment of Aunty Mavis. We also condemn Andrew Forrest and his Fortescue Metals Group for openly backing such unethical practice through their financial support and their never-ending divide and conquer campaign against the Yindjibarndi People. There is something rotten in the house of FMG, and we want their gang of bullies, particularly Mr Bower and other Corser & Corser lawyers, to get out of our community and leave us in peace.”
For further information
Michael Woodley – CEO YAC – 0419 097 130 mwoodley
Phil Davies YAC Anthropologist/Public Officer – 0429 110 451 pdavies
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