'The Spirit of Mabo'
The land needs the laughter of children
:
Native title and the achievements of aboriginal people
*


Sean Flood**

The Aboriginal people of Australia have not enjoyed many wins over the past 200 years. The imposed legal system discriminates in favour of the dominant society. The rule makers have all the advantage.

For 204 years before Mabo2 the Indigenous people of Australia suffered under a yoke which denied them the full expression of their culture. As a nation we lived the lie that Australia was land, water, sea and islands that belonged to no-one Lawyers gave a comfortable Latin tag to this lie, terra nullius. Terra nullius lulled us into a torpor of denial.

We developed a European culture on the foundation of terra nullius. We built cities, roads, bridges, sea ports, railways, airports, towns, farms, fences, sheep stations, cattle stations, pastoral runs, open cut mines, deep mines, uranium mines, sand mines, dams, zoos, art galleries, casinos, churches, opera houses, parliament houses, court houses, light houses, factories, shops, hotels, office towers, electricity towers, mansions, museums, BMX trails, holiday resorts, Olympic stadiums, swimming pools, marinas, golf courses, race courses, ski resorts, football grounds, cricket grounds, national parks, forest reserves, marine reserves, Aboriginal reserves, goals, schools, asylums, nursing homes, water pipes, gas pipes, electricity grids, cables for computers, telephones, electricity and television and our comfortable urban and country homes on terra nullius.

We introduced all manner of harmful fauna and flora to terra nullius. We degraded and polluted terra nullius. We diverted rivers, damned and wiered, changed wetland nurseries into dry dead zones, eroded millions of acres with clear felling and filled in mangrove fisheries in terra nullius. In the pursuit of pleasure, we skied on waters in billabongs, rivers and lakes, drove cars, trucks, motor bikes and horses through virgin hush, fished, speared and shot nature's bounty. We also hunted and killed the native animals and people of terra nullius because they interfered with our agricultural pursuits, timber getting, mines, National Parks or Crown Lands which we regarded as vacant and therefore public assets of the invaders. We made Indigenous people trespassers in their own country - law breakers for living here.

We legislated reserves for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We corralled Aboriginal people and kept them on the margin of European society. We stole Aboriginal children from their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles and elders to bring them to the European God and domestic servility. Pass-laws kept Torres Strait islanders at home or away from family and their homelands. If mainland reserves were found to be too good for "blacks" and required for further expansion, reserve after reserve was revoked to make way for white farmers while whole families of Aborigines were driven off land often made productive by years of their sweat and toil. If reserve land stood in the path of a mining venture, it meant nothing to government or church people to round up the eltlerly at gun point, knowing that the rest of the community would follow, burn all the houses and belongings; ship the entire population away from the precious ore body and disperse the human cargo hundreds of miles away from their homeland. This was the fate of the people of Mapoon in 1963 whose rights were trammeled to make way for bauxite mining so that we might continue to enjoy the view of terra nullius through aluminium windows.3

In February 1925 Aboriginal people on the north coast of NSW formed the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association and demanded freehold land for Aboriginal families and an end to the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. In October 1925 at a meeting in Kempsey of 500 Aboriginal people, speeches were made in Aboriginal language about the second wave of dispossession from the reserves as well as health, education and citizenship rights.4 Strike action was taken by Aboriginal labour in the pastoral industry of the Pilbara commencing on the 1st May 1946 and continued with many acts of courage by Aborigines until 1950. On 1 July 1955, 400 people were forcibly evicted from Moola Bulla Aboriginal Station, a concentration camp in the Kimberley region and dumped a three day ride away at Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek,5 a year before the Olympic Games were last held in Australia. Little did we or the international community then care that Australia held such vast gulags of Indigenous people. On 23 August 1966, the Gurindji and others who worked at Wave Hill downed their tools; a labour dispute by a group of Aboriginal people in Australia which soon evolved into a struggle for land.

In World War II, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women, whose population represented less than one per cent of the total Australian population, made heroic contributions to our defence despite initial reluctance by the armed services to enlist them. Many who fought and many who died with their white comrades are not recorded by name; those who are remembered include Private David Pitt, P. Jose and W Ah Wong from the Torres Strait Islands, Major Reg Saunders, Victor Blanco, Charles Mane who also served in the Korean War and won the Military Medal for bravery, Oodgeroo Noonuccal one of Australia's greatest poets who served with the Australian Women's Army Service, and Leonard Waters from NSW as a fighter pilot. A complete list of Indigenous service men and women would include thousands of names. In the first world war, over 500 Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders served despite legislative barriers.6 The only Aboriginal soldier to receive a mention in Bean's, Official History of Australia in the War 1914-1918, is Private William Allen Irwin from Caroona who died fighting machine gun embattlements on 31 August 1918. Private Irwin was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

In 1963 the YoIngu people of Yirrkala, presented the Federal Parliament with a petition on stringybark signed by 17 leaders. The bark petition brought to the Government's attention the concerns of the YoIngu over the interference by Nabalco's bauxite mine with their land, sacred sites and culture. When the government failed to respond to their grievances the traditional owners went to court. The case became known as the Gove land rights case of 1971.7 Blackburn, the judge, decided against the traditional ownership of the land. Since that decision thousands of indigenous and non-indigenous people were galvanised into the modern land rights movement which gathered pace. The Whitlam. Labor Government was elected in 1972 having promised land rights for Indigenous Australians. In 1975, the Gurindji received part of their traditional lands in a grant from the Commonwealth. Prime Minister Whitlam in a symbolic gesture transferred a flow of dry earth from his hand to the hand of a Gurindji elder, Vincent Lingiari. It was the first successful land rights claim based on traditional title. Seventeen years later a tremendous convergence occurred with Mabo.

Mabo told the nation that we were wrong. All our achievements, developments, exploits, growth and profit was based on a lie. Eighteen million Australian people living a lie - a two hundred and four year old lie. The truth was that the law did recognise the rights of Indigenous people to land. The true legal theory of terra nullius never applied to Australia because it refers to land without owners. In the hands of lawyers, terra nullius became an even bigger lie. They extended its meaning to include land of "barbarians", worthless people, people who did not matter, people who are not included in a nation and are incapable of property ownership because they have no culture, cultivation, crops, farm animals, fences and concepts of property recognised by British law. These are the sort of people who are so primitive that it was regarded as legitimate to treat them as fauna and write them out of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900.8 They are people "so low in the scale of social organisation"9 that they are not even to be counted among "the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth".10

Exposing the enormity of the lie, as the High Court did, led to a huge output of creative energy. Artists painted; writers wrote; people discussed the Mabo issues. The marvellous paintings by Judith Watson on the Mabo theme and a remarkable paindng by David Boyd, The Waterfall, dedicated to Eddie Mabo, now deceased, are wonderful examples of indigenous and non-indigenous art inspired by Mabo. The Boyd painting expresses the power of an idea: the idea that we are all equal; that one man's struggle against the vicious legal concept of terra nullius succeeded; that the Meriam people have rescued us from official racism. The Waterfall pays tribute to the Indigenous People of Australia who have at long last achieved a stunning victory in the white legal system. The painting is a powerful metaphor of trial. Perhaps Truganini, Rupert Max Stuart and Albert Namatjira will now rest a little easier and we might receive forgiveness.11 More than 660 published works have been produced on topics related to Mabo not including millions of words in newspapers.12 Hundreds of discussion groups across Australia have hosted guest speakers on Mabo and native title.

The good will Indigenous people have in Australia is grounded in their achievements. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have done more for the spirit of Australia and its environmental well-being than any other group. Indigenous Australians are now contributing more to our national identity than anybody else in art, culture and self knowledge. The contemporary art of the Western Desert is only one example of great art painted by people whose names are mostly unknown: Harper Tjungurrayi Morris, Uta Uta Tjangala, Daisy Leura Nakamarra, along with Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (who has become a household name). These art works, acrylic paint applied with a stick to canvas stretched on the inland sand, are inspired by a tradition perhaps 30,000 years old "directly connected with the last Ice Age in Australia".13

There are however many who do not accept the recognition of rights for the dark people of the nation, the "coons", "half-cast bastards", "boongs", "quadroons", "octoroons", the non-people with a "touch of the tar brush". The High Court has never before been attacked by community and business leaders the way it was for the Mabo decision. The Court was accused by Hugh Morgan, Chairman of Western Mining, of "putting at risk the whole legal framework of property rights throughout the whole community".14 Dark mutterings came from retired National Party Senator John Stone that: "[if] the rule of law is to prevail, those who preside over it must be respected; we are at the point where they no longer are".15 While Gerard Henderson was of the view that the court had fallen under the influence of sinister "sources unknown",16 Geoffrey BIainey regarded the court as "a quiet challenger to democracy".17 The State of Western Australia sought to legislate the rights of Aboriginal people recognised by the High Court entirely out of existence. That attempt was decisively struck down by the Court seven to nil in The State of Western Australia v The Commonwealth.18 A former Supreme Court Judge, Peter Connolly, CBE, QC has spoken of "the notorious Mabo case .... unhappily still very much with us" in a booklet published by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and sent free to schools across Australia.19 Connolly refers in his "thesis" that the Mabo decision is a "naked assumption of power by a body quite unfitted to make the political and social decisions which are involved." In the same publication , Sek Hulme, AM, QC, writes:

But nomadic people have no settlements to protect, and if intruders came they would frequently withdraw to other parts of their nomadic realm, rather than challenging their presence. Their departure would leave behind neither buildings nor cultivation nor other sign of ownership or achievement.

The issue was the acquisition of land by occupancy; by "peopling" the land; by "settlement". Fundamental to that was the cultivation of land, for cultivation ties those who sow to being still there to reap, and it is cultivation above all else which leads to land becoming "settled" The rule developed that the fact that land was known to fall within a possibly enormous area over which there roamed a nomadic people, who did not cultivate the land, did not remain, did not build, in short did not settle the land, was not inconsistent with the acquisition of it by people who did cultivate, did remain, and did build: people who did "settle"

This is ethnocentric, pseudo sociological claptrap dressed up as Counsels' opinion to undermine the Mabo truth. These are powerful men who are trying to destroy the legal rights of Australia's Indigenous citizens, belatedly acknowledged by the Mabo decision. One American commentator has observed that you can always foretell that Indigenous people have lost a legal challenge to land when a judge uses the verb "to roam" Fauna roam, nomadic people move with purpose, grace, direction and knowledge born of ancient practise and observation. The sweep of Mabo is breathtaking. Had we come here with an openness of mind and hearts, Australia would now be a better place. Lieutenant James Cook wrote of the Aborigines in the Endeavour's Log Book in August 1770:

They live in a Tranquillity which is not disturbed by the Inequality of Condition. The earth and Sea of their own accord furnishes them with all things necessary for Life... they live in a Warm and fine Climate, and enjoy every wholesome Air, so that they have very little need of Cloathing; .... in short, they seem'd to set no Value upon anything we gave them; nor would they ever part with anything of their own... This, in my opinion Argues that they think themselves provided with all the necessarys of Life.

Though we cannot go back to the past, it is never too late to make a better future for our country, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal country, Torres Strait Islander country, the country of all Australian children. Mabo makes it possible because it shows the way to a new respectful relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians If we trust Australia's Indigenous people who live in a symbiotic relationship with their mother the earth and with water, sky and seas, further harm to our fragile environment can be avoided.20 I do not wish to suggest a return to Eden or that we have entirely missed the point in developments that have occurred since the invasion; but we should listen to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people because they have accumulated vast knowledge of the environmental paradigm of this southern land. It is a land beautifully described by Judith Wright in The Cry For The Dead 21 in prose of great lyricism where she paints a picture of Australia before the arrival of the white people. Here she describes a part of Australia adjacent to the Dawson Range in Queensland:

Perch Creek at that time ran clear and deep, and the fish which gave it its name lay at the bends where deep permanent water-holes stretched above clean sand. .... Mussels and crayfish tunnelled the banks, yams and annual grasses and herbage grew on the open flats and slopes where Aboriginal fires regularly controlled the growth of trees and shrubs. Kangaroos and wallabies grazed the grass, kept sweet by fires, and sheltered in tall open forest beyond the flats.22

Instead of a meanness of spirit we should be open to trust traditional owners with their inheritance. Mainland Australian governments need courage to follow Mabo and recognise native title. A great movement of Australian people want this simple act of justice for the descendants of people of the First Nations. We are not endtled to enjoy our homes, businesses, leisure, games and Olympic contests with other nations unless the promise oflllabo is made good. When we last hosted the Olympic Games, the Aboriginal people were non-citizens. By referendum in 1967 of the "Australian people", who did not include Aborigines, we voted, without their consent, for full citizenship rights for Aboriginal people. If by 2000 we have not delivered the rights identified by Mabo we will have nobody to blame but ourselves when nations condemn us and prevent their athletes from attending the Sydney Olympics. We have done just that because of human rights abuses in Afghanistan. This time we could be the nation singled out for condemnation and boycotts. We have the ability to avoid such unpleasant consequences.

However the powerful men who oppose Mabo are still with us. We have much to do.

Mrs Dixon, an Aboriginal woman living in the north western NSW town of Bourke and thousands like her are barely suniving in squalid two bedroom houses shared by fifteen and more people with leaky roofs, blocking toilets, second hand furniture and only one hotplate for cooking. Ill health is rife.23

The powerful men say Mabo went too far. The truth is it did not go far enough. First and foremost, Mabo protected the interests of the majority. The wealth of the nation is built on the theft of Aboriginal property. The majority of the High Court said this was a valid exercise of "discriminatory" common law powers which remained unchecked until the passing of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 by the Commonwealth Government. One day, their honours of the High Court may reconsider the immorality and injustice of this conclusion.24

We need sharing, understanding and respect for spirit, God and earth. Nganyinytja, an elder woman of the Pitjantjatjara says: "The Mabo decision is good. The land is the centre of culture and spirit for Aboriginal people. People need to realise that we all share the same spirit that comes from God and from the earth."25 After Mabo Wenten Rabuntja AM, Senior Law-man of the Arrernte people said: "we have to work out a way of sharing the country, but there has to be understanding of and respect for our culture, our law".26

One old Aboriginal woman in native title mediation in August 1995 at Daintree led the mediator by the hand to the foot of a hill and said: "there is a burial ground up there. It is my responsibility to care for it, yet I am not allowed to go there because of the leases." It was a simple and moving assertion of her traditional connection with her country, There was no reason to doubt it. All she wanted was the freedom to carry out her spiritual obligations to her ancestors' graves.

Mr. Cederic Button, a Dunghutti man said in an ABC radio interview on 7 March 1995: "we are sick and tired of being pushed around by Government bodies and it is time we stood up for ourselves. It is nothing against Crescent Head or the people, we love the people. I live here. I'm a community member and I'm respected in the community, I think I am, up until now. There'll be a lot come out of it in the long run, the mediation is going to work. The Crescent Head people must understand that we are human beings and civilised people and just because their property adjoins us that we are not going to spear them and eat them, we're civilised but we just want a fair go."

Our history since the invasion is littered with terrible abuse. On a daily basis, Australia's Indigenous people have to endure constant challenge to their personal identity and worth. Being roped off in the worst seats of a picture theatre in a country town, refused employment in shops and stores, not allowed, like other customers, to try on a frock because of racial origin and hundreds of other slights erode human confidence. Within memory, under the provisions of the Western Australian Native Administration Act 1936, a "quadroon" who was legally entitled to obtain liquor was jailed for three months because she supplied it to a "native", her "half caste" husband.27 In 1958, Albert Namatjira was similarly treated and died three months after serving his sentence. These constant hurtful jibes and goadings have contributed to Aboriginal deaths in custody, driven culture to turn inwards and made the living expression of Indigenous cultures painful and challenging. Yet culture has survived for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A zephyr of change came with Mabo The High Court swept away the main obstacle to reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous iiustralians - the lie on which the nation was built. Many sections of society are now treating native title holders seriously and respectfully. Mr Leon Davis who heads the biggest mining company in the world, RTZ-CEW in an address to Australian Business In Europe 28 at the Savoy Hotel, London on 14 August 1996 spoke of the changes wrought by Mabo and native title:

Nothing demonstrates this process of redefinition and Australian's growing confidence and maturity more than the Mabo debate and the subsequent Native Title legislation. The more the nation has looked into the future, the more people have realised the need to come to terms with the past.

What the past tells us is that Australian history did not begin 200 years ago. Ignoring that fact has caused a lot of misery for Aboriginal Australians. There is now a consensus that, for Australia to function as an effective society, all Australians need to come to terms with Some of the obvious consequences of white settlement. Australia as a nation is not alone in this

realisadon. Countries like the USA, Canada and New Zealand have already addressed questions that are now being addressed in Australia. Our learning process has not been easy. There is no doubt that our current Native Title legislation is complex and parts of it will need to be improved. But, as I have said before, the sentiments behind the Native title Act are a credit to its architects and its core tenets deserve to stand, even though translating them into workable legislation has been difficult.

It is generally acknowledged, however, that 200 years of history have left an indelible mark on the psyche of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. There have been so many false dawns in our long relationship. So we should not be surprised that some Aboriginal leaders meet overtures from politician or business leaders with distrust. The welcome fact is not that some fair and open approaches get a hostile reception; but rather that so many don't.

RTZ-CRA's experience of negotiating with Aboriginal communities has taught us that Aboriginal leaders face a herculean task. It is very difficult to represent others in a society which has for thousands of years practiced collective leadership.

I understand this difficulty. It is the greatest challenge facing the current generation of Aboriginal leaders. So I urge more acknowledgment of the efforts of those Aboriginal leaders representing the spirit of reconciliation and an understanding of the pressures upon them. Sometimes Aboriginal leaders have to act outside their traditional authority and to speak for others, The difficulties of doing so are immense.

However, just acknowledging the cultural differences that exist will not solve the problem. This will be the task of the Australian people. Just as there must be a deep understanding of Aboriginal needs, there must be an equally deep understanding of the economic imperatives of the system under which we all live. That understanding requires a genuine appreciation of how essential sustainable development is to the success of this system, and what the prerequisites are for that development.

Changes in this area won't happen overnight, and they won't all be as dramatic as the passing of Native Title legislation. But, as education about Aboriginal history spreads through the population, and as more Aboriginal leaders and role models are recognised, that gap will surely close and Australia will be the better for it. Perhaps the most positive contribution we in business can make is not to be too quick to make judgements.

Other development companies with billions of dollars to spend have followed suit. In 1996, a joint enterprise between BHP Petroleum and Canada's Westcoast Energy Inc. constructing a natural gas pipeline from Gippsland Victoria to Sydney, is treating traditional owners along the length of the project very seriously indeed. These and many other instances contrast with the assertions by the former Leader of the Opposition, Dr Hewson, who, in the House of Representatives on December 22 1993, the day the Native Title Act was passed, stated: "One major miner has already told me that as a result of this legislation, he does not believe he will see another new mine open in Australia" and "this is indeed a day of shame for Australia".29

Now that the Coalition occupy the Government benches it can only be hoped for Australia's sake and its image as the country of the "fair go", as well as its international standing, that there will be a return to bipartisanship and commitment to the Mabo principles and native title. Coalition supporters want land justice for Indigenous Australians. A legislative attack on legal rights to property is not supportable in a just and fair society and undermines liberal values. Yet the powerful men attack the legal rights of Indigenous people to property. John Stone, ever quick to see an opportunity to wind back native title rights, has wrtten "[i]n particular, we cannot continue to allow all the politically correct nonsense from the Aboriginal industry to stand in the way of wholesale revision of Mr Keating s destructive Native Title Act 1993, which is little more than an official charter to blackmail mining companies." 30 Wilson Tuckey, a Western Australian backbencher in the Howard Government wants legislative extinguishment of native title where pastoral leases have been granted over land held by traditional owners.

Conclusion

It will take years of patient work to resolve all the issues that come up more than 200 years after the date when we first commenced to ignore the legal rights of the first inhabitants. All the injustice that has occurred in that time by the failure of the laws and the courts to protect indigenous property rights cannot be redressed in a short time or by further legislative erosion of the legal rights of Australia's Indigenous citizens. The wonderful paradox, however, is that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies' underclasses since l788, are the only ones in the history of modern Australia who can give us legitimacy. We can receive the gift of legitimacy only from Australia s Indigenous people. Since Mabo we can go forward and seek to earn the consent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for our continued presence. We can seek forgiveness for our genocidal acts ofmurder, rape and theft. And we can seek to be a nation reconciled with each other, old citizens and new. The challenge is to achieve equality. Mary Gaudron, one of the High Court Judges in Mabo suggests that, "[t]he modern application of the doctrine of equality, particularly in relation to Aborigines, demands that we confront ourselves, confront our preconceptions and our prejudices; it demands that we know ourselves." 31 Australia has the chance to become a great country with the longest continuous history and culture on earth if Australia's Indigenous people "freely consent to make their ancestors' occupation ofiiustralia available as a basis for the nation to assert its sovereignty".32 Mabo gave us a new and exciting vision of Australia. It opened a window on the past and showed us what Australia can become. It is almost as if having started on the wrong road in 1788, Mabo set a new direction in 1992 which will lead us to the full flowering of nationhood: a return to a better place remembered by the Aborigines and Islanders of the Torres Strait; and a discovery of a more beautiful Australia by her non-indigenous people. A journey of the spirit.


Footnotes

* Originally published in Spirit and Place: Art in Australia 1861-1996 (Museum of Contempoary Art, Sydney, 1996). Subsequently in Implementing the Native title Act: The next Step: Facilitating negotiated agreements, selected discussion papers. National Native Title Tribunal 1996. (1997)

** Member, National Native Title Tribunal. (Since 1998, a magistrate in NSW)

1 An expression used by the Kitja people who were forced off their land in the Kimberleys in 1955

2 Mabo and Ors v The State of Queensland (No.2) (1992) 175 CLR 1.

3 Roberts, J.P., The Mapoon Story (International Development Action. 1975).

4 Goodall, H., Invasion to Embassy: Land in Aboriginal Politics in New South Wales 1770-1972 (Allen and Unwin, 1996)

5 McLeod, D. How the West was lost, (PO Box 139, Port Hedland, WA, 6721, 1984) Ch. 3 and Ch. 6; and Countrymen, The life histories of four Aboriginal men as told to Bruce Shaw, Introduction, (Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies 1986)

6 Hall, R.A. Fighters from the fringe, (Aboriginal Studies Press, 1995).

7 Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (1971) 17flr 141; [1972-73] ALR 65.

8 s.51 (xxvi)

9 Re Southern Rhodesia [1919] AC 214 at 233.

10 Australian Constitution s. 127

11 From my Foreword to the David Boyd, Metaphors of Trial, Catalogue, Opening Exhibition, Ann Von Bertouch Galleries, Cooks Hill. The Waterfall has been donated by the artist to the Law School, Macquarie University

12 Meyers, G. D. & Muller, S. C. Through the Eyes Of The Media (Part 1): A Brief History of the Political and Social Responses to Mabo v Queensland (Murdoch University Environmental Law and Policy Centre, 1995).

13 Bardon, G. Aboriginal of the Western Desert (Rigby: 1979), at p. 44.

14 Sydney Morning Herald, October 13, 1992

15 Financial Review October 22, 1992.

16 Sydney Morning Herald December l, 1992.

17 The Australian April 19, 1993.

18 State of Western Australia v Commonwealth (1995) 183 CLR 373; 128 ALR 1.

19 Connolly, P.D. The High Court of Australia In Mabo (AMEC, WA, 1993).

20 I have taken this and the following paragraph from my book, Mabo: A Symbol of Sharing, (E. Fink, 1993).

21 Wright, J. The Cry For The Dead (Oxford University Press, 1981).

22 Ibid, at p. 94.

23 The Australian Wednesday March 20 1996, p 3.

24 McNeil, K. 'Racial Discrimination and Unilateral Extinguishmmt of Native Title', Australian Indigenous Law Reporter vol. 1(1996)pp. 181-221.

25 The Good Weekend Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald August 21, 1993.

26 Aboriginal Law Bulletin, Vol. 3, No.61April 1993,p.6.

27 Fink, R.A. 'The contemporary situation of change among part-aborigines in Western Australia', in Berndt, R.M, and Berndt, C.H. (eds) Aboriginal Man In Australia - Essays in honour of Emeritus Professor A.P Elkin (Angus & Robertson, 1965), at p. 423.

28 ABIE has over 1,000 members in Europe.

29 House Hansard at pp. 4547-48.

30 Australian Finacial Review, 19-21 March, 1996.

31 Gaudron,M. 'Equality Before The Law With Particular Reference to Aborigines', (1993) The Judicial Review vol 1, no.2, p. 81 at p. 88.

32 Brabazon M.L. 'Mabo, the Constitution and the Republic'. (1994) II Australian Bar Review 229


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