In 1992 the landscape of modern Australian politics and society was unsettled by a ground-breaking High Court case that ruled against the idea that before the Europeans arrived Australia was terra nullius (or ‘nobody’s land’). The decision led to the native title Act of 1993, which transformed the nature of the long struggle by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the recognition of their land and ultimately, sea rights.
Every small bit of sea has a name
– Djambawa Marawili
During National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June), after extensive negotiations between Traditional Owners and the Federal and Northern Territory governments, it was announced that about 4000 square kilometres of ocean was added to the Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area in North East Arnhem Land.
The Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area was originally declared in November 2000. It covered an area of coastline and hinterland country on the western edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria – part of the traditional lands of the Yolŋu people. Importantly, a large area of sea country is now included. Continue reading