Self-determination through collaboration: The Victorian experience

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Marcus Stewart
Dean Cowie
Tony Kelly
Eleanor Bourke

Following the High Court Yorta Yorta decision in 2002 formal Traditional Owner recognition in Victoria looked bleak. However, through persistent activism and a government open to doing business another way Victorian Traditional Owners have been increasingly successful at having their rights and interests on their country recognised. For many it has been under the Aboriginal Heritage Act, for some it has been through the Native Title Act and/or the Traditional Owner Settlement Act. For one so far it has been under all three. These processes combined are creating the foundation for Traditional Owner self-determination and economic independence. In this presentation representatives from the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, First Nations Legal and Research Services, the Victorian Government’s Right People for Country Program and Native Title Unit will tell their story of how the system has come together to address the legacy of dispossession and create a pathway for recognition, self-determination and economic independence.