Law Council of Australia


Law Council of Australia announces 2022 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship recipients

27 November 2021

Queensland University of Technology law student, Mr Cameron Downey, and Charles Darwin University law student, Ms Michelle Burchill, have been announced as the 2022 John Koowarta Law Scholarship recipients. Law Council of Australia President, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, presented the scholarship to both recipients at the annual Law Council Director’s Meeting held virtually on 27 November 2021.

“It is a privilege to present the 2022 John Koowarta Scholarship to Mr Downey and Ms Burchill,” Dr Brasch said.

“Cameron and Michelle are exceptionally talented law students who show great promise. I look forward to watching their professional careers develop over the coming years.”

Mr Downey is a proud Ghungalu man and is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Information Technology (Computer Science) at the Queensland University of Technology. He intends to use his double degree to create and design digital systems that will give rural and remote Indigenous communities better access to the justice system.

While completing his studies, Mr Downey also works as a Law Clerk at YFS Legal and volunteers as a First Nations Officer at QUT Law Society. In 2021, his article ‘Review of Roger Brownsword’s Law 3.0: Rules, Regulation and Technology’ was published in the academic journal, Law, Technology and Humans.

“To be a recipient of the 2022 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship is a tremendous honour, not just for me personally, but my family, community, and university. This scholarship will serve as a useful foundation for my career in the legal profession and I hope that one day I can make a valuable contribution to the Australian legal landscape,” said Mr Downey.

Ms Burchill is a proud Kuku Yalanji woman and is in her first year of law as a mature student. Since 2012, Ms Burchill has worked as an enrolled nurse. In 2020, she decided to pursue a career in law and aspires to work in areas that interest her including: Native Title, environmental and planning law, human rights, international law, family law, medical-legal and criminal law.

“I am very pleased and cannot thank the Law Council enough with this generous scholarship, as this award will be of financial benefit towards my studies in becoming another Indigenous lawyer," said Ms Burchill.

The John Koowarta Scholarship is a national scholarship dedicated to helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students achieve their ambition of becoming a lawyer.

The scholarship honours John Koowarta, a Winychanam Elder, who pioneered Aboriginal land rights in Australia during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.


Kristen Connell
P. 0400 054 227


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