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The MABO and WIK Decisions,

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Andrew Lucas

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of The MABO and WIK Decisions,

The MABO Decision, The WIK Decision and the Native Title Act
The Native Title
Native Title
The Difference of the WIK Decision
The Native Title
The MABO Decision
Significant decision made in Australian-Indigenous History.
High Court decided Australian law recognise the traditional owners of the land.
It was debated upon and went through several court battles to be decided.

Case resolved on 3rd June, 1992 in the case of MABO v. Queensland (No.2).
Special day in Aboriginal History.
Ownership of the land was also known as the Native Title.
The MABO Decision creates history
The MABO Decision
The MABO decision relates to when the High Court decided that Australian law recognise the traditional owners of the land.
The WIK Decision
The WIK decision meant that both the rights to the land of the pastoralists’ and the Aborigines could co-exist in society.
The Native Title Claim
Aborigines made the Native Title claim to earn rights to their land.
Believed they had a spiritual connection with the land.
To be granted the Native Title:
They had to prove they had a connection with the land in the past.

In 1993, Prime minister, Paul Keating granted the Native Title to the Aborigines.
Keating also wanted to improve Australia's relationship with the Indigenous community.
He believed the Aborigines deserved it, due to the previous injustices suffered.
Key historical moment that represented Australia as a nation.
Contributed significantly and played a key role in the success of the MABO Decision.
He was an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
A land activist and a prominent figure in the changing rights and the freedoms of the Aborigines.

Mabo also helped overturn the term ‘terra nullius’, meaning ‘land belonging to no-one’.
Successful in changing many opinions and perspectives of individuals regarding ownership of the land.
Many supported Mabo’s views and assisted his campaign.
His enormous contribution resulted in the Indigenous population receiving rights and freedom.
The MABO and WIK Decisions and The Native Title
The MABO Decision
The WIK Decision
The Native Title
All crucial moments in history that changed the lives of Indigenous Australians.
It impacted Australia as the Aborigines had a chance to be recognised.
Native Title first debated when the Eddie Mabo court case eventuated.
Native Title is the recognition of indigenous Australians rights to the land by the rest of the Australian population.
Land was extremely important for economic value as well as other reasons.

Indigenous Australians valued the land for traditional Aboriginal customs.
Religion, relationship building, gathering food, creation stories and for art and culture.
The Native Title Act (1993).
Eventuated as a result of the key battle by the indigenous people led by Eddie Mabo.
The WIK Decision
Who Was Eddie Mabo
and how did he Contribute?
The WIK Decision was also crucial for Indigenous Australians.
The High Court of Australia ruled on the case of The Wik Peoples v. The State of Queensland on 23 December, 1996.
It debated the issue on whether statutory leases were superior to Native Title rights.
WIK people argued the leases were under the ruling of statutory law and not common law and that pastoral leases did not entitle leaseholders to have complete rights to the land.

The High Court agreed with this and ruled there was a difference in the leases.
Also, that Native Title rights could exist along with rights of individual leaseholders.
If there was an issue regarding rights to the land, the leaseholder would prevail.
The WIK decision was different to other Acts as pastoral leases extinguished indigenous ownership.
The rights to the land of pastoralists and the Indigenous Australians could co-exist together.
Negotiations had to take place between the pastoralists and Indigenous Australians for use of the land.

It was a key process to determine who had rights to the land.
The Native Title would not just rule over the leaseholders’ rights.
Only related to Native Title claims in the Cape York area.
For the WIK decision to operate effectively, Native Title had to be proven and the lease had to include the correct information.
Only effective in Cape York Area
The Native Title is the recognition of indigenous Australians rights to the land by the rest of the Australian population.
The MABO Decision, The WIK Decision and the Native Title Act.
These Acts allowed the rights of the Indigenous Australians to the land to be recognised and impacted Aborigine society immensely.
The rights and freedoms of the Indigenous Australians changed greatly following these acts.
Full transcript