Our land is our birth right: #MABO25 and Beyond

Friday, 2 June 2017 - 10:00am
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The AIATSIS National Native Title Conference 2017, co-convened with the North Queensland Land Council (NQLC), kicks off Monday 5 June, on the traditional lands of the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba people, in Townsville, Queensland. It will be attended by over 750 native title stakeholders from across the country.

This year’s theme, ‘Our land is our birth right: MABO25 & Beyond’, acknowledges 25 years since the High Court’s momentous Mabo decision, where the Court overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius and recognised the continuity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights to lands and waters under Indigenous laws and customs.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) CEO, Craig Ritchie, said the impact of the Mabo decision on Australian society was profound.  

“By acknowledging a wrong and seeking to make it right, the Mabo decision occupies a pivotal place in the Australian story and over the past 25 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have seized the opportunities the decision created,” Mr Ritchie said.

“This year’s conference is an opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the decision, and to honour those who fought for our rights and learn from those who are forging new paths today.

“It brings together a wide range of people from all over the country to meet, learn from each other and forge stronger connections to create prosperity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our communities, to honour our diversity and our continuing relationship to country.  

“It is one of the premier annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander conferences, and we are proud of this year’s program and look forward to sharing it with delegates.”


  • Dr June Oscar AO – Mabo Lecture
  • Prof Mick Dodson AM – Keynote address
  • Ms Murrawah Johnson – Youth keynote address

View the full Native Title Conference 2017 program.


  • 5 to 7 June 2017 – Please note Monday 5 June is a closed session for PBC and NTRB representatives only


  • Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, Entertainment Dr, Townsville City, QLD

Media release

Media enquiries

commsmedia@aiatsis.gov.au or 02 6246 1605 

Last reviewed: 2 Jun 2017