The Hon. Justice Michael L Barker, Federal Court of Australia


Well the greatest difference is that native title is now established and accepted I think by all Australians by Governments around Australia by major political parties by major corporations and engaging resource activity in Australia by all sorts of farming and agricultural and pastoral interest in the country and by the everyday citizen in 1992 when the Mabo decision came down followed by the Native Title Act relatively soon afterwards there was great political controversy and for those who weren’t around or were too young at the time you can’t fully imagine how great that controversy was the idea of Aboriginal people who up to that point had not had their rights in land recognised by Australia’s common law suddenly had those rights and today it’s just accepted it’s part of life it’s part of politics it’s part of business it’s an enormous change I flew into Kununurra not long ago and on a Virgin flight I don’t know if Qantas do this or Airlink but as we were landing the flight attendants said welcome to Kununurra this is the country of the Miriuwung and Gajerrong people and that wouldn’t have happened 25 years ago quite an amazing difference so this respect through that process for Indigenous people throughout throughout the country

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