Women’s Business: Leah Cameron

9th March 2021

Palawa woman Leah Cameron shares her business beginnings with us and her insights on backing yourself, setting up and growing a successful business.

“From a young age, my mob really encouraged me to get out there with protesting and advocating on issues that affect our people,” Leah explains. “I had a wonderful experience growing up with my community. We are one big family and very well connected with the other families, with those connections still there today – stronger than ever. A lot of us came from very low socio-economic backgrounds but I always say to people that I was fortunate to grow up with my mob, and for the most part, the things we were doing were “always trying to find ways to better the situation for our people and our communities.”

Leah has carried that approach and focus with her in establishing and growing her own successful law firm.

“After completing my studies in law at the University of Tasmania, I wanted to build my experience while staying true to my internal focus on supporting our people. I moved to Cairns to work in native title and Aboriginal heritage law – away from my family, community and homeland.”

It was from Cairns that Leah set up her own law firm from humble beginnings around her kitchen table. Now recognised as Australia’s leading independent Indigenous law firm, her focus has shifted slightly.

“In the beginning my drive to set up the firm stemmed from my frustration and anger at the quality of legal services being provided to Aboriginal people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a right to effective legal services and to lawyers who will help them and make sure they are well-informed. However, as the business has grown I have seen a need to work across both sides of the cultural divide with Government and Industry. Our unique perspective, as Aboriginal lawyers, means we can walk in two worlds and deliver outcomes that work for both sides.”

“As the business has grown, I have been able to support and mentor talented young legal professionals and assist and nurture emerging Aboriginal businesses. We are also privileged to be able to support groups pro bono as a way of giving back to our communities.”

Marrawah Law has offices across Australia and advises government, business, not-for-profits and traditional owner groups. The firm is 100% Indigenous owned, Supply Nation certified and offers clients pathways to deal with issues through practical, whole of business solutions with cultural legitimacy. Marrawah Law specialise in all aspects of Corporate, Government, Commercial and Indigenous Law and its predominantly female team assist clients based all over Australia.

Leah’s advice:

1) Stay true to your original focus and commitment but be open to changing your approach
2) Understand your unique perspective and what you have to offer
3) Support and mentor other women in business
4) Keep learning
5) Move out of your comfort zone and back yourself

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