Law & Aboriginal Land Claims In Australia: Justice In Black & White
I am a Larrakia woman from the Darwin region of Northern Territory. I graduated in Masters in Philosophy (Law) through Umulliko and the Law School, the University of Newcastle in 2002. I chose Umulliko to undertake my research Masters degree after searching for a university willing to offer a program, the expertise and an environment conducive to progressing specific Indigenous research issues, which I believe, led to the successful completion of my work.
My thesis arose from being Larrakia and my participation in the Larrakia, Kenbi Aboriginal Land Claim, which is famous for being the longest running land claim in the history of land claims in Australia and, the first and last claim under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) (1976).
In this thesis I examine the 'measure of justice' attributed to Aboriginal Australians in the context of debates that arise from Aboriginal claims against the State. Central to these debates is the legal relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the State and the State's response.
This work explores power relations in Australia and the legal and conceptual difference between Australian law and Aboriginal law regarding land ownership and issues of identity through the development, process and practice of the Australian legal system. It is within this framework that Indigenous peoples confront the court's interpretation of Aboriginal law, spirituality, connection to lands, waters, kinship and cultural traditions. More over this process and practice directly influences the judges' determinations of not only Aboriginal title or native title but, more importantly clarifies Indigenous rights in Australia and Indigenous peoples' ability to protect and preserve everything that encompasses their cultural heritages.