Indigenous Barristers’ Trust

The New South Wales Bar Association is deeply concerned about the under-representation of Indigenous lawyers practising at the NSW Bar and seeks a legal profession in NSW that demonstrates equality and an absence of any discrimination and reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the general NSW community. A special trust fund was established in 2001 to which members of the Association make generous donations to the trust so it can meet the needs of Indigenous law students, graduates and barristers.

The Indigenous Barristers’ Trust The Mum Shirl Fund is dedicated to providing relief from poverty, suffering, helplessness, misfortune or other disability of Indigenous law students and lawyers for whom such disadvantages, which involve financial necessity, impede the pursuit of a career as a barrister in New South Wales.

Funding is available for:

  • Meeting immediate living expenses of Indigenous students undertaking legal or related education, for whom becoming a barrister in New South Wales is a primary career objective, and
  • Avoiding personal or financial hardship for Indigenous lawyer attending the NSW Bar Readers program or during the first five years of practice at the NSW Bar.

The range of support available is outlined here .

An application form for financial assistance is available here

Please save the application form to your computer and return it as an email attachment to the address provided.

Donate to the Indigenous Barristers' Trust

The New South Wales Bar Association encourages you to donate to the Indigenous Barristers’ Trust, The Mum Shirl Fund (The Trust), which has received endorsement from the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient. Contributions of $2 or more are allowable deductions for income tax purposes.

Make a donation

Mentoring for law students

The Indigenous law student mentoring scheme aims to equip Indigenous law students from across NSW with practical legal knowledge, networks and experience through mentoring. The program matches students with a barrister, to meet with on a regular basis to informally discuss their career. If you are interested in participating in the program please make sure you read the mentoring guidelines  . 

To apply to as a mentee please complete this form. 

To apply to as a mentor please complete this form.  

Please save the application form to your computer and return it as an email attachment to the address provided.


The employment scheme aims to identify part-time employment opportunities with a barrister, group of barristers or in Chambers for Indigenous law students including:

  • For first, second and third year students – doing general administrative work, filing loose leaf services, etc.
  • For fourth year students and beyond – doing research and general administrative work.

If you are interested in employment opportunities please email Ting Lim at