The Federation Press

Native Title from Mabo to Akiba: A Vehicle for Change and Empowerment?


Cover image taken at Mangkuna (Corkbark) on Karajarri country in the Kimberley, Western Australia - November 2014. Photography by Edward Tran. © Copyright Kimberley Land Council.
This edited collection brings together some of Australia’s foremost experts in native title to provide a realistic assessment of the achievements, frustrations and possibilities of native title, two decades since the enactment of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and after the most significant High Court decision on native title in more than ten years, Akiba v Commonwealth, which confirmed the existence of commercial native title fishing rights. The Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors come from a variety of disciplines and perspectives and include academics and practitioners from the fields of law, economics, anthropology, politics, history and community development. Uniting the book is a concern that native title make a real impact on the economic and social circumstances of Australia’s Indigenous communities.
The book consists of two parts.
Part One is entitled Legal Dynamics in the Development of Native Title. It examines the way in which Australian law has defined and often constrained the scope of this newly-recognised property right. There is a particular focus on legal issues with a direct bearing on the economic potential of native title, such as alienability and the right to trade resources and the challenges posed for anti-discrimination law.
Part Two is entitled Native Title as a Vehicle for Indigenous Empowerment. Authors provide an overview of the contribution made so far by native title and the prospects for future empowerment. Detailed mapping and analysis provides readers with a geographic orientation and a sense of realism about the economic potential of the native title estate, in comparison with achievements under a parallel statutory land rights regime. This part also explains some of the challenges Indigenous groups face in areas such as governance, land reform and internal politicking, as they operate in the shadow of the law, seeking to utilise native title for greater empowerment.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsAbout the Contributors

Part One: Legal Dynamics in the Development of Native Title
The Idea of Native Title as a Vehicle for Change and Indigenous Empowerment Sean Brennan, Megan Davis, Brendan Edgeworth and Leon Terrill
The Legal Shortcomings of Native Title Bret Walker
A Judge’s Reflections on Native Title Paul Finn
The Significance of the Akiba Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim Case Sean Brennan
The Right to Resources and the Right to Trade Lisa Strelein
The Inalienability of Native Title in Australia: A Conclusion in Search of a Rationale David Yarrow
The Mabo ‘Vibe’ and its Many Resonances in Australian Property Law Brendan Edgeworth
Dancing with Strangers: Native Title and Australian Understandings of Race Discrimination Jonathon Hunyor

Part Two: Native Title as a Vehicle for Indigenous Empowerment
Burgeoning Indigenous Land Ownership: Diverse Values and Strategic Potentialities Jon Altman and Francis Markham
The Relevance of Statutory Land Rights to Native Title and Empowerment Andrew Chalk and Sean Brennan
Native Title, Aboriginal Self-Government and Economic Participation Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh
Maximising the Potential for Empowerment: The Sustainability of Indigenous Native Title Corporations Marcia Langton
Indigenous Incorporation as a Means to Empowerment Tim Rowse
Ancestry and Rights to Country: The Politics of Social Inclusion in Native Title Negotiations David Trigger
Hernando De Soto and Empowerment through Land Tenure Reform Leon Terrill
Making Use of Payments: A Community Development Model Danielle Campbell and Janet Hunt
Negotiating a Noongar Native Title Settlement Glen Kelly and Stuart Bradfield


Of interest...