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Native Title

Native Title

How did you get involved in Native Title?



Full Transcript

When I left the Administrative Appeals Tribunal I was appointed, in fact I left the Administrative Appeals Tribunal because I was cross the point of a Native Title Tribunal in ’96, which was two years after the law, the Mabo case had given rise to the Native Title Legislation. And the aboriginal people to lay claim, to make claims under the law. Because they had been denied the principal of just compensation. You would know, Aled, that Crown can expropriate land, you and me as well if they discovered gold under your land and oil under mine, then as you know in British law, everything a certain distance underground belongs to the Crown and they can expropriate our land, but not without just compensation.

Aboriginal people had consistently been removed from their land and the land had been turned into free hold or the land had been turned into National Park or whatever else and they had never been compensated. So the essence of Native Title Legislation is just compensation for such expropriation. And it’s a complex, political situation. People felt very strongly about it and still do. It hasn’t been the success that I think many of us hoped it would be.


But it was very important and remains very important work not only done by the Tribunal now, people are short circuiting it by hiring a lot of really excellent people who will then negotiate between government and Native Title parties to achieve an outcome. For example, if an oil pipe line is going to be laid from the top end all the way down to South Australia. Then all the land it crosses, if you regard it as Native Title Land where it’s claimable, then you must negotiate with the traditional owners. And that’s been part of the successful process.

About the mediator

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Joanna has been working with groups as a mediator for over 20years in highly sensitive inter-racial and political settings all over the world. In 2001 she became chairman of LEADR, Australia’s largest non for profit dispute resolution organisation and in 2006 became a visiting fellow at LEADR. She was a member of the administrative appeals tribunal for 10 years and later a member of the National Native Title Tribunal where she mediated land cla... View Mediator