Indigenous Law Bulletin 8(8)


With the number of Indigenous owned businesses, enterprises and partnerships on the increase; this issue of the Indigenous Law Bulletin (‘ILB’) will focus on how current legal and business practices are impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.

In Unfinished Business in the Straights, Lauren Butterly discusses the High Court’s unanimous decision to uphold commercial fishing rights in the Torres Strait. The historic decision will impact the future of commercial development and sea rights both in the Torres Strait and Australia.

Recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment rates are much lower than other Australians; Boyd Hunter and Matthew Gray discuss the importance of inclusive workplaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

Virginia Marshall explores Indigenous access and benefit sharing agreements on a range of Indigenous rights and interests including land, waters, gas, minerals and genetic resources—while John Sheehan turns his attention to the challenge of land-based carbon property rights and large scale natural resource exploitation.

Considering the value of social enterprises to Indigenous communities; Heron Loban, Sue Ciccotosto and Peter Boulot focus on how social enterprises might support the drive towards Indigenous self-determination.

In Jus Sanguinis, Dennis Foley considers how Australian Aboriginal businesses and enterprises are defined by different legal and business institutions and how the majority ownership criteria could potentially be too restrictive.

Seán Kerins examines common property resources noting that community-based enterprises which recognise and utilise both Indigenous common property resources and cultural knowledge can produce benefits such as employment, skills and partnerships and market opportunities.

Finally, I would like to thank the ILB’s previous Editor Rob McCreery and the team at the Indigenous Law Centre (ILC) for their assistance in preparing this special business edition. I am very excited to be taking over as Editor and look forward to contributing to the important work of the ILC.

Rebecca Gallegos


Unfinished Business in the Straits: Akiba v Commonwealth of Australia [2013] HCA
by Lauren Butterly

Workplace Agreements and Indigenous-Friendly Workplaces
by Boyd Hunter and Matthew Gray

Negotiating Indigenous Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements in Genetic Resources and Scientific Research
by Virginia Marshall

Indigenous property rights and large scale natural resources exploitation: The challenge of land-based carbon property rights
by John Sheehan

Indigenous corporate governance and social enterprise
by Heron Loban, Sue Ciccotosto and Peter Boulot

Jus Sanguinis: The Root of Contention in Determining what is an Australian Aboriginal Business
by Dennis Foley

Governing the Black Commons through Community-based Enterprises
by Seán Kerins

MONTHS IN REVIEW – September / October
compiled by Errin Walker


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