53. Difference between Land Rights and Native Title

Nikunu Yunupingu and Richard Trudgen discuss the difference between Native Title and Land Rights Act, as these English words are very confusing to most Yolŋu people.

Richard and Nikunu work through the background of the land rights act and the Mabo court case leading to the recognition of Native Title. After the Mabo case the Federal Government created a special court called the Native Title Tribunal to deal with applications from Aboriginal people in order to work out the appropriate Native Title Holders.

The discussion also explores what a tribunal is so that Aboriginal people have an understanding of the the different types of courts in Australia today.

While all these English terms seem very easy for people who speak English as a first language, for Yolŋu the contemporary system of law is at times very different from their traditional system of law. This,together with these intangible academic English terms that have very different European linguistic roots, means many Yolŋu people are not entirely sure what the ‘land rights’ conversation is really about.

Nikunu and Wamut Richard have a conversation around these subjects so that they can become clearer.

(This program was recorded when we are having trouble with our online studio, so we apologise for the audio quality)


There are 4 stories in this podcast. Please see time stamps below-

  • The difference between Land Rights and Native Title – 00:00
  • The difference between Land Rights and Native Title – 9:46.337
  • The difference between Land Rights and Native Title – 20:13.767
  • Bad communication causing sickness and division – 31:03.464