School of Indigenous Studies

Christie-Rochelle Annice


Bachelor of Laws Graduate Christie Annice 

After completing Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2004 at University of Western Australia (UWA), I secured a Graduate position with a leading oil and gas company which they re-released in 2005 as a joint initiative between their Indigenous Recruitment and the Centre for Aboriginal Programmes as the School for Indigenous Studies (SIS) was known then. This was a fantastic challenge as it was my launching pad into my dream profession.

As I was the first Indigenous, first female, and first lawyer in their Supply Chain Graduate Programme it meant creating a path, maybe termed “a guinea pig” as they established one of the leading graduate programs as it is today. After 15 months in the graduate rotation, I transferred into a straight purchasing/procurement role. Since then I have expanded my experience with varying industries ranging from oil and gas to agriculture (grains), concrete and mining, always in a procurement role focusing primarily on contract administration, management, negotiations and supplier relationship management. My current position is Contract Consultant in the public sector.

Academically, I have completed the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and am currently completing my Masters of Legal Practice with Australian National University (ANU). I registered with the ACT Bar in 2010.

While a member of Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPSA) since 2005, (where I held the Youth portfolio for several years until last year), I have maintained my association with the legal profession, and have been a Member of the Law Society of WA since 2010 and an Inaugural committee member of the Aboriginal Lawyers’ Committee.

My time at SIS, was an incredible journey. While a student I was actively involved in Western Australia Student Aboriginal Corporation (WASAC) and in 2004, after years of being involved, I became Chair. “Restamping the Tradition” was a theme that emerged out of re-releasing the WASAC magazine. This involved collating the history especially the design of the deadly artwork which for the corporate seal and trying to broaden the linkages throughout the University. One of these was being the ATSI representative on the Guild Executive (the first Indigenous person to hold this). This was a fantastic experience, and one of the key achievements was having the Guild Courtyard named “Kwoort Kwoba Dandjoo” (Happy hearts together) by Elder, Rev Cedric Jacobs and the university recognition of it being on Aboriginal land. WASAC is all about being involved, so it is only as good as students make it, but can I say even if it means seeing one person being funded by WASAC and ATSI being sent on a conference that they could not have attended that makes their dream come true, or ensuring that a WASAC weekly BBQ is a good feed, or sending a team to the Indigenous Games it is worth doing beyond words, pictures and perceived accolades. Another initiative was releasing positive representations such as poetry into the UWA magazine which was a combined effort with other WASAC members.

Pursuing a dream when there appears to be no light can be a challenge but it is worth it. You do not have to work the mainstream legal path, or as I refer to the traditional pathway, i.e. Law school, articles in a law firm, associate, partner, maybe Judge’s associate, Magistrate, etc. Law is such a diverse discipline that it guides you through all facets, allows you to charter a course for your own, I like to think, a lot more succinctly.

I knew at a tender age, when there was no light at all. My mantra was “By the time I am 25 I will be at UWA studying law". I knew I always wanted to work in commercial negotiations, supplier relationships, and governance. I knew when I embarked on my journey that there would be a lot of challenges professionally and personally, however the ability to never lose sight of your dream is one of the most fundamental belief systems you must maintain. When I went into my profession (Procurement), I was the first one in a lot of cases; however I didn’t focus on my perceived predicament as such, just where I wanted to be. I looked at it from the perspective that the more people see you follow your dream, the more will do the same, and I have been blessed with seeing several people pursuing and achieving their dreams.

I have a lot of mantras and aspirations that I centre on to keep myself focused ranging from well known to some obscure, but I think the one from Henry James is one of the best for someone who is creating a path for their dream to flourish, "Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact”.   Or, as one of my mentors often reminded me "one day at a time (dear Buggsy)". So summing up, go for it - don’t hold back, the people at SIS are there, I also found other students, my lecturers, tutors, and staff at the law school very encouraging and supportive. Only you hold the key to your life – start turning, you never know what you will unlock.