Native Title Reports 2010
Native Title Report
ISSN 1325-6017 (Print) and ISSN 1837-6495 (Online)
Please be aware that this publication may contain the names or images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may now be deceased.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Social Justice Commissioner
- Note on terminology
- Electronic format
- Contact details
The position of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner was
established in 1993. The office of the Social Justice Commissioner is located within the
Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Social Justice Commissioner:
- reports annually on the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal
Torres Strait Islander peoples, and recommends action that should be taken to
ensure these rights are observed
- reports annually on the operation of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and its effect
on the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples
- promotes awareness and discussion of human rights in relation to Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- undertakes research and educational programs for the purpose of promoting
respect for, and the enjoyment and exercise of, human rights by Aboriginal
Torres Strait Islander peoples
- examines and reports on enactments and proposed enactments to ascertain
whether or not they recognise and protect the human rights of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Mick Gooda: 2010–present
- Tom Calma: 2004–2010
- William Jonas AM: 1999–2004
- Zita Antonios: 1998–1999 (Acting)
- Mick Dodson: 1993–1998
About the Social Justice Commissioner’s logo
The right section of the design is a contemporary view of traditional Dari
or head-dress, a symbol of Torres Strait Islander people and culture. The
head-dress suggests the visionary aspect of the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. The dots placed in the Dari
represent a brighter outlook for the future provided by the Commissioner’s
visions, black representing people, green representing islands and blue
representing the seas surrounding the islands. The Goanna is a general
symbol of the Aboriginal people.
The combination of these two symbols represents the coming together
of two distinct cultures through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Social Justice Commissioner and the support, strength and unity which
the Commissioner can provide through the pursuit of social justice and
human rights. It also represents an outlook for the future of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander social justice expressing the hope and expectation
that one day we will be treated with full respect and understanding.
© Leigh Harris
For information on the work of the Social Justice Commissioner
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner recognises
the diversity of the cultures, languages, kinship structures and ways of life of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There is not one cultural model that
fits all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples retain distinct cultural identities
whether they live in urban, regional or remote areas of Australia.
The word ‘peoples’ recognises that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have
a collective, rather than purely individual, dimension to their lives. This is affirmed
by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.1
There is a growing debate about the appropriate terminology to be used when
referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Social Justice
Commissioner recognises that there is strong support for the use of the terminology
‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’, ‘First Nations’ and ‘First Peoples’.2
Accordingly, the terminology ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ is
used throughout this report.
Sources quoted in this report use various terms including ‘Indigenous Australians’,
‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people(s)’ and ‘Indigenous people(s)’. International documents frequently use the
term ‘indigenous peoples’ when referring to the Indigenous peoples of the world.
To ensure consistency, these usages are preserved in quotations, extracts and in
the names of documents.
2 See Steering Committee for the creation of a new National Representative Body, Our future in our hands: Creating a sustainable National Representative Body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples, Australian Human Rights Commission (2009), pp 15, 43. At http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/repbody/report2009/index.html (viewed 5 November 2010).
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner thanks the
following staff and interns of the Australian Human Rights Commission for their
contributions to the Native Title Report 2010: Alison Aggarwal, Nicholas Burrage,
Andrew Gargett, Jackie Hartley, Katie Kiss, Louise McDermott and Jenni Whelan
(staff); Gideon Kibret (Intern, University of Sydney); Caroline Dimond, Jacintha
Manton, Julia Noble and Tammy Wong (Interns, The Aurora Project).
The Social Justice Commissioner especially thanks all those who assisted with the
preparation of this report. A full list of acknowledgements is contained at Appendix 1.
Design and layout: JAG Designs
Printing: Paragon Printers Australasia
Cover photography: Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, www.dhimurru.com.au,
Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
Hunting Wanuwuy, 2010
This image of Djawulu Mumunggurr was taken during a lunch break at Wanuwuy
(Cape Arnhem). The Rangers had been collecting rubbish off the beaches in the
morning and had stopped for a break and natha (food). Djawulu had brought along a
garra (spear) this day and managed to supplement our lunch with some guya (fish).
This publication can be found in electronic format on the website of the Australian
Human Rights Commission: www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/nt_report/
You can also write to:
Social Justice Unit
Australian Human Rights Commission
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
Please be aware that this publication may contain the names or images of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may now be deceased.