Bridgid Cowling is a Senior Associate in the firm’s public interest law and native title groups. She advises a broad range of clients with a focus on charities and not-for-profit organisations, Aboriginal Land Councils and Native Title Representative Bodies. Bridgid has many years of experience working with remote and urban Indigenous communities.
Ranked as a rising star for native title
Bridgid joined the firm in February 2015 from Cape York Land Council, where she was a Senior Lawyer responsible for providing legal and policy advice in native title and land rights law, administrative law, planning and environment law, extractive industry and natural resources law.
Prior to working at Cape York Land Council, Bridgid performed a similar role at Northern Land Council. She also volunteered as a Civil Lawyer at the Cairns Community Legal Centre.
Throughout her career, Bridgid has contributed to numerous law reform submissions in relation to charities, mining, native title and land rights law.
Whilst completing her degree, Bridgid received a number of sought-after awards including the Arnold Bloch Leibler Prize for Indigenous Peoples and the Law, the Allens Arthur Robinson Prize for Corporations Law, the Supreme Court Exhibition Prize for best Honours thesis and the Holding Redlich Prize for International Human Rights Law.
Bridgid is Chair of the Tax Institute Not-for-profit Technical Committee. She is also a member of the:
- Law Council of Australia Charities & Not for Profits Committee;
- Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Not for Profit & Charities Law Committee; and
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Professional Users Group.
Bridgid has acted and currently acts on a range of public interest law and native title matters, including on behalf of:
- native title representative bodies and private native title clients: in relation to specialised income tax and GST advice;
- native title representative bodies, including Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, Native Title Services Victoria and Goldfields Land and Sea Council: in relation to their statutory functions under the Native Title Act 1993;
- the Anindilyakwa Land Council: in relation to its statutory functions under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976;
- various environmental charities including Greenpeace and Australian Conservation Foundation: in relation to taxation, corporate governance issues, and miscellaneous legal issues; and
- a number of other charitable clients including First Nations Foundation, Lowitja Institute, Reconciliation Australia, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, Woor-Dungin and Law and Advocacy Centre for Woman: in relation to a range of legal issues including ongoing corporate governance requirements, commercial agreements and taxation issues.