On 14 March 2023 the Federal Court of Australia handed down the determination of Native Title for the Narungga People. This is the formal recognition by the Court that the land and seas on Yorke Peninsula always was, and always will be, Narungga land.
The Narunnga native title claim was filed in 2013. The settlement Indigenous Land Use Agreement involved negotiations between the Crown and Narungga People. Mellor Olsson represented the rights and interests of commercial fishing licence holders in this claim.
The determination marks the Australian legal system recognising and accepting the traditional laws and customs of a different legal system (that of Narungga People) and acknowledging that the two laws-the common law and traditional law exist contemporaneously.
The Federal Court on country hearing was held on Point Pearce School and the Narungga community gathered to participate in the event.
The loss and the fight of elders past were acknowledged by Narungga speakers who reminded that, whilst we will not forget the past, we can work together for a brighter future.
The consent determination can be seen as the finalisation of the land rights for the Narungga People, but it is also the beginning. Native title gives a bundle of rights, a right to negotiate, a voice in decisions involving the land and seas, economic opportunities, and a future the children can look forward to.
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