On country, online: using technology to support management of native title by native title holders

Friday, 3 June 2016
Raelene Webb QC

The mid-1990s was a period of extraordinary social and technological change in Australia. At almost the same time that Indigenous rights and interests in land were receiving unprecedented legal recognition by way of the Native Title Act 1993, the internet was coming into being and enabling previously unimaginable connections between people, place and information. 

Drawing on recent research into native title governance and knowledge management, this paper examines the uptake of digital technologies by Indigenous groups, governments and industry to build relationships between stakeholders and support more effective decision making and land use planning.

We illustrate how, as our collective attention turns from securing recognition of rights to managing them into the future, emerging technologies such as GIS mapping systems, databases, electronic document and record management systems and social media are increasingly being taken up by governments, industry, native title representative bodies and prescribed bodies corporate, contributing to the effectiveness of relationships with government and other land users and supporting more effective and sustainable management of native title by native title holders.