On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia handed down the Mabo decision, recognising the continuing rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original inhabitants of the land under their own law and customs. In 2012, on the 20th anniversary of Mabo, the contributors present a story of a mixed aftermath. From the first years of expectation and debate to the bureaucracy that was to develop, this book makes clear that, even for those involved from the beginning, native title remains a tough terrain to navigate, though it is now an established part of the legal and political landscape.
Introduced by Mick Dodson, this is a narrative testified by those who were close to the Mabo case, the negotiations leading up to the Native Title Act, or who for the past two decades have helped shape native title outcomes. The book includes perspectives from native title claimants and holders, community, political and corporate leaders, lawyers and judges, academics, consultants and government bureaucrats. The authors dispel myths that continue to surround Mabo, drawing into question assumptions about the impact of the High Court’s ruling and unresolved questions of justice for Indigenous Australians.