May 2004 Volume 6, Issue 2

Leading in to National Reconciliation week (27 May — 3 June), the seventh national Sorry Day (26 May) was held in recognition of the destruction of so many Indigenous lives through the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families. At a time when the government continues to tender out legal services for Indigenous people and to abolish ATSIC (the formal process was initiated by the government on the first day of Reconciliation Week), reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians looks further away than ever. Natalie Walker, a young Indigenous woman, has written a powerful article for the ILB on her hopes for reconciliation and provides a viewpoint no doubt shared by many. Regardless of government’s intention and design in further disempowering Indigenous people in this country, we must all continue to work toward equality and justice for Indigenous Australians. This edition goes to print in the wake of two important events coordinated by the Indigenous Law Centre. On 8 June, we co-hosted a public forum with Ngalaya Aboriginal Corporation on the future of Indigenous governance after ATSIC. Attended by well over a hundred people, the event gave a sign of hope that people will continue to challenge attempts to take Indigenous self-determination off the political agenda. All four speakers gave much to the issue and video and audio from the forum can be accessed via our website The second recent event was a national conference on Indigenous legal services — a timely gathering of those working in the sector — to discuss, plan and respond to the most pressing of issues for legal services for and with Indigenous Australians. Articles in this edition also indicate changes and developments which can provide us with some hope. Jason Behrendt outlines the recent Federal Court determination which saw native title rights being granted to the Lardil, Yangkaal, Gangalidda and Kaiadilt peoples, albeit rights constrained by the Yarmirr decision. Adelaide lawyer Laurie Fittock explains the basis of the case for Cosmos Tipiloura, convicted of murder in 1991 by a majority jury verdict in the Northern Territory (NT) Supreme Court. Thirteen years after the conviction, an application for leave to appeal to the High Court has been lodged. Interestingly, Mr Tipiloura’s conviction has stood for only one month longer than the report and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) has been open for implementation. Richard Edney details a criminal case in South Australia which saw a Supreme Court judge go to great lengths to ensure the implementation of the RCIADIC recommendations. We hope that you enjoyed the Special Focus Edition on Indigenous Women (Vol 6(1)). Here we publish two of the articles which unfortunately could not be included in that edition for space reasons.


Reconciliation: A Perfect Day
by Natalie Walker


Talking Point: A Conversation between an Indigenous Woman Lawyer and an Indigenous Woman Law Student
compiled by Samantha Newman

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Prevention Legal Service: Working with Indigenous Women and their Communities
by Antoinette Braybrook


The Single Noongar Claim: Negotiating Native Title
by Dr Lisa Strelein and Dr Stuart Bradfield


Lardil Peoples v State of Queensland [2004] FCA 298
by Jason Behrendt

Convicted on a Majority Verdict: The Tipiloura Case
by Laurie Fittock

R v Scobie: Finally Taking the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Seriously?
by Richard Edney

Book Review

Honour Among Nations? Treaties and Agreements with Indigenous Peoples
review by Matthew Lamb


Recent Happenings

Stay Connected