Explore the Relationship Between Indigenous People and the Law

First Nations officers changing police cultures from within.
Jun 4, 2024
Constable Jarwin Blackman on the job.

The relationship between indigenous people and the law is fraught, that might be an understatement, but the issue of the police and attitudes towards first nations continues to be topical, see the recent scandal in the NT.

The topic of police and indigenous communities needs exploration and some real changes made. At the forefront of that cultural shift are aboriginal officers and the observational documentary series Our Law, takes viewers though the experience of these policemen and women as they make their way through the complexities of law and race and work towards some kind of reconciliation.

The series is accompanied by an ATOM study guide which is now available for high school teachers to use in the classroom. The resource can be downloaded for free here.

Series two expands from Western Australia and crosses state lines into New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Torres Strait.

Our Law follows multiple stories and cameras are granted intimate and candid access as they follow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander police out on the beat in a diverse range of locations and communities around Australia, each with its own unique history, culture and policing needs. These locations include Perth and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, Nambucca Heads and Redfern in New South Wales, Ballarat in Victoria, Caboolture and in Queensland, Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and more.

In series two, Leroy Rundle and Ace Keirnan, who appeared as Western Australian police cadets in series one, face new challenges in their roles as a Recruit and a Custody Officer. The series also follows Sergeant Alan Kickett from West Australian Police; Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLO) Melissa Muter, Scott Mieni and Narelle Dickson from NSW Police Force; Sergeant Melissa Peters from Victoria Police; and Senior Constable Patricia Pedro, Constable Jarwin Blackman, and Constable Laurie Bateman from Queensland Police Service, as they work in various communities. The series is once again narrated by Australian actor Deborah Mailman.

Series Director, Perun Bonser, said, “It is my hope that the series seeds critically important national conversations, which must take place now, if we are to establish a system of law that is fair for everyone. The responsibility of building a relationship between the police and Indigenous communities is on all of us.”

Our Law is available to stream for free on SBS on Demand, with all episodes being released on 9 May. Captions in English and subtitles in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese will be available on SBS On Demand. The series will also be available with audio description for blind and low vision audiences.