Queensland Law Society
Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane

The World Indigenous Legal Conference 2014 examines legal issues affecting Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

Hosted by the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland at QUT, WILC 2014 will address:

  • recognition of First Nations Peoples
  • economic independence
  • Indigenous knowledges
  • relationships to land
  • criminal justice
  • human rights; and
  • Indigenous women and children.

Registration includes the official opening and welcome ceremony hosted by the Chief Justice of Queensland, the Hon Paul de Jersey AC at the QEII Law Courts Complex and a conference dinner in the Grand Chelsea Room, Mercure Brisbane on Thursday 26 June 2014 at 6.30pm with keynote speaker Senator Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory (Australia).

International delegates can also take advantage of a special activities program on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 June.

10 CPD points
Substantive Law
Pricing
$1,100 Standard
$880 Community legal centre (manual registration form only)
$440 Student (manual registration form only)
$110 Additional dinner ticket



Conference artwork, “Caina Patut, Wartanganha” appears courtesy of Chern’ee Sutton, a 17 year old contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from the Mt Isa area in Queensland.
Find out more


Sponsors

ILAQ
Gadens
Gilkerson Legal
QUT


Bronze Sponsor
BAQ
Speaker Sponsors
Delegate Sponsors

Sami Parliament

Student Sponsors

Helen Bowskill QC

Translator Sponsor


Program

Monday 23 June

7.30am

Cherbourg tour

A small delegation of international speakers and delegates will travel to the community of Cherbourg. Those wishing to attend must advise the organisers at the time of registration. Places are limited.

Tuesday 24 June

5.15pm

Arrival

5.30pm

Official Opening and Welcome

Welcome to Country:
Maroochy Barambah (Australia)
Presenters:
The Honourable Chief Justice Paul de Jersey AC, Supreme Court of Queensland (Australia)

Paul Spiro
, Partner, Gadens (Australia)
MC:
Josh Creamer, President, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland (Australia)
Venue:
The Gallery, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, 415 George Street, Brisbane

Proudly sponsored by

Wednesday 25 June

8am

Registration

P Block – Level 5 Terrace

8.30am

Ngarra Law, Recognition within the Australian Nation State

Room: P514

The keynote address will outline the fundamental principles of Ngarra Law, as a complete system of law based on the principles of peace, order and good government. Ngarra law has been practiced by Yolngu peoples of Eastern Arnhem Land for many thousands of years, and for a long time Yolngu peoples have struggled to have their system of law recognised as an equal system of law within Australia. Yolngu peoples have recently formed the Yolngu Nations Assembly – Yolnguw Makarr Dhuni – to assert their rights to self-government, self-determination and sovereignty – and to create dialogue between Ngarra law and the Australian legal system. This paper will discuss recent developments in the recognition of Ngarra law.

Presenters:
Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, Chairman, The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation; Djawarrkmirr, Yolngu Nations Assembly (Australia)
George Gaymarani Pascoe, Director, Burnawarra and Djawarrkmirr, Yolngu Nations Assembly (Australia)
Chair:
Josh Creamer, President, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland; Djawarrkmirr, Yolngu Nations Assembly (Australia)

10am

Morning tea

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

Proudly sponsored by

10.30am

Recognition of First Nations Peoples

Room: P514

Accommodating Indigenous Customary Laws in State Legal Systems: Past, Present and Future

Commencing with a brief discussion of legal pluralism, which provides a theoretical framework, the session will consider recognition of customary laws in common law courts, including whether they should be pleaded and how they are to be proved. Geographically, it concentrates on the South Pacific, looking at the position in Australia and comparing this with a unique scheme in Papua New Guinea, and with the regimes in the Solomon Islands, Federated of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Presenter:
Dr Jennifer Corrin, Professor, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, University of Queensland (Australia)

Economic Independence

Room: P421

Bridging the divide: the journey from determination to development

There is work to be done to support communities to work together to determine their vision for the future and to drive their own development combining the best of their own resources and outside support. The session will explore some pathways to bridge the chasm between the law and aspirations for vibrant, strong, socially and economically sustainable communities.

Presenters:
Pam Bourke, Principal, Pam Bourke Consulting (Australia)
Margarita Escartin, Director, Red Cliff Project Consultants (Australia)

Human Rights – Health

Room: P419

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder

This session will present a case study which involved trying to raise awareness of FASD in the justice system for a young man with a long history of involvement with the juvenile and adult justice systems who was finally assessed for disability support.

Presenter:
Dr Janet Hammill, Coordinator – Collaboration for Alcohol Related Development Disorders, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (Australia)

Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Peoples

Topics covering Indigenous Peoples and their relationships with land or alternatively, Traditional Knowledge, focusing on the existing customary basis for indigenous people to claim ownership over land and resources, including both physical and spiritual connections.

Presenter:
Francis Waleanisia, Community Affairs Manager and In-house Lawyer, Axiom Mining Ltd (Solomon Islands)

Indigenous Trusts in Canada: Rethinking Self-Governance 138 Years Later

Decades of paternalistic Crown policies have enabled the control and assimilation of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The Indian Act is one of the most striking manifestations of such policies. This session will explore the evolution of Crown policies towards Canada’s Indigenous peoples and discuss the use of trust structures to illustrate how Indigenous communities have turned a paternalistic vehicle into a capacity and knowledge building tool. Case studies will be included from our clients.

Presenter:
Jaime Lickers, Associate, Gowling Lafleur Henderson (Canada)

Exploring the Common Law as an Avenue for the Recognition of Tikanga Māori (Māori Customary Law)

This session will present a factual scenario that goes to the heart of an issue that the New Zealand legal system has been struggling with for over 150 years: the interaction between tikanga and the New Zealand state legal system. It will examine this interaction and the potential to expand the recognition of tikanga as having legal status as part of the common law.

Presenter:
Natalie Coates, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Ethnicity, Indigeneity and Indigenous Rights: The'Orang Asli' Experience

Orang Asli, the Indigenous minority of Peninsular Malaysia, continue to face formidable challenges in realizing their rights as distinct Indigenous Peoples despite being ascribed a measure of constitutional and statutory protection. This session examines the impact of the term ‘Orang Asli’ and its use on the Orang Asli struggle for the recognition of their rights as Indigenous Peoples.

Presenter:
Dr Yogeswaran Subramaniam, Associate Member, Centre for Malaysian Indigenous Studies, University of Malaya (Malaysia)
Chair:
Dr Valerie Cooms, Member, National Native Title Tribunal (Australia)

Nga Taumata o Te Moana - Reconciling the Ownership and Governance of the Takutai Moana (foreshore and seabed)

This session pursues an examination of Te Tiriti o Waitangi from aspects of past, present and future. Te Tiriti guaranteed certain rights to Māori in respect of their lands, resources and fisheries and established a governance regime for Aotearoa based on a fair and positive partnership between Māori and the Crown. However, In order for the Crown and Māori relationship or Te Tiriti partnership to improve, a more equitable regime must be established for the ownership and governance of the takutai moana. There must be a balance between profit driven, cultural and conservationist ethics. Te Tiriti places a positive obligation on the Crown and Maori to resolve such contentions and could be the basis of a new ownership and governance regime for the takutai moana.

Presenter:
Season Mary-Downs, Solicitor, McCaw Lewis Lawyers (New Zealand)
Chair:
Justice Colin Forrest, Judge, Family Court of Australia (Australia)

Evolving Governance Models for Community Controlled Organisations – Protecting Our Institutions for Our Community

Community controlled organisations have been in existence across Qld now for over 40years and represent the last bastion of community lead, designed and run organisations supporting improved outcomes for our communities. These organisations are not without issues, given complexities in running and managing organisations and fiduciary responsibilities for receiving government funds. QAIHC as the state peak body for community controlled services has worked with organisations and communities to keep abreast of changes over time for our institutions to support ongoing involvement and local decision-making by our communities. The session seeks to provide an overview of work undertaken by the sector ensure that community remains the barometer for change to support ongoing community involvement providing services to improve outcomes.

Presenter:
Selwyn Button, Deputy Chairperson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane Ltd (Australia)
Chair:
Associate Professor Dea Delaney-Thiele, Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA) (Australia)

12pm

Lunch

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

1pm

Recognition of First Nations Peoples

Room: P514

Indigenous Recognition

Indigenous Peoples have long inhabited the territories predating the land now known as the United States – since time immemorial. Although indigenous tribal communities have existed thousands of years prior to the formation of the United States, the U.S. government defines its indigenous population through political and social divisions, significantly impacting the health, maintenance and wellbeing of indigenous communities. These government-created distinctions of acknowledgment, recognized and unrecognized, and the longstanding and brutal genocidal laws and policies have proven to be extremely detrimental to Indigenous Peoples and threaten to weaken their very existence. These divisions have even infected the Indigenous Peoples themselves, creating a category of second-class Indians. Indigenous Peoples have survived decades of governmental laws and policies intended to divest them of their culture, land and communal strength. Despite this, many indigenous peoples are actively preserving their lands, languages and culture, recognized or unrecognized. This presentation will also explore government-created distinctions and the survival Indigenous People using current life examples of Indigenous Peoples from the United States

Presenter:
Deborah Sanchez, Board Member, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples and Co-chair, Barbareño Chumash Council (United States of America)

Indigenous Knowledge – Intellectual Property

Room: P421

Using the Intellectual Property system to help gain economic independence

For a long time, the Intellectual Property system has presented significant issues and problems for Indigenous Peoples and their Indigenous knowledge, enabling others to own and protect indigenous knowledge. Many countries around the world now provide some protection for Indigenous knowledge. But now it is time for Indigenous communities to understand the benefits of the Intellectual Property systems and regimes available around the world, and use the systems and regimes to help gain their own economic independence.

Presenter:
Lynell Tuffery Huria, Special Counsel, AJ Park (New Zealand)

Human Rights

Room: P419

The use of exceptional anti-terrorism laws by the Chilean state to block demands for the protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples: the Mapuche conflict

This paper will analyse elements required to establish the magnitude of, and manner in which, the human rights of the Mapuche People of Chile are violated, at the collective as well as individual level. Following that analysis, this paper proposes possible solutions in terms of laws which could bring about a real and genuine dialogue to confront what is currently known as ’the Mapuche Conflict’.

Presenter:
Patricia Soraya Lienlaf Osses, Meli Wixan Mapu, “From the Four Points of the Earth” (Chile)

Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous People

Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous People was first unsuccessfully attempted by the Howard government. The Gillard Labor Government agreed to re-run the issue by an expert panel to examine the key issues, recommend possible constitutional changes and to help the Parliament formulate an appropriate question for the referendum appointed. However, the proposed referendum was postponed with multi-party agreement. This paper examines the panel’s recommendations in some detail to examine why the proposals were thought unlikely to gain the necessary majorities required to effect successful constitutional change. One of the drawbacks of the panel’s report was that the recommendations were complex and this makes it difficult to garner support among a population that is arguably suspicious of things they do not easily understand. The paper also canvasses a possible arguably simpler alternative to the Panel’s recommendations and one that may win popular support.

Presenter:
Dr Asmi Wood, Senior Research Fellow, National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University (Australia)

Living Law: Customary Law, Human Rights and Intercultural Justice

This presentation examines the resurgence of customary law over the past thirty years and explores the influence traditional legal values such as ubuntu (humaneness) are having on the administration of justice. It argues that recognition of customary law and the exercise by Indigenous Peoples of their role as lawmakers is crucial for good global governance, which it argues should be based on the notion of intercultural justice. It concludes that customary law has a vital role to play alongside natural law, positive law and human rights in the reconstruction of our fragmented legal order. It further concludes that Indigenous Peoples legal rights to their own legal regimes and the obligation of states to recognise their legal regimes in order to secure their human rights have crystallised as principles of customary international law.

Presenter:
Brendan Tobin, Research Fellow, Griffith Law School (Australia)
Chair:
Gavin Scott, Partner – Resources, Ashurst Australia (Australia)

The Cape York Welfare Reform Trial – Continuing Acts of Paternalism

This paper will examine factors underlying governments’ management of Aboriginal Peoples’ property. Social security payments are judicially acknowledged as a form of property and are protected as rights by a number of international human rights conventions. The Queensland Government’s “management” breaches a person’s right to social security and control of their property.

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (RDA) prohibits racial discrimination. However the Queensland and Australian Governments rely upon its special measures provisions to legitimate managing Aboriginal peoples’ social security payments. The RDA, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Queensland Discriminatory Laws) Act 1975 (Cth), and international human rights conventions now require equality for Aboriginal peoples in exercising their right to own and manage property. Yet prevailing attitudes of paternalism continue, leaving the underlying racial discrimination unchanged.

Presenter:
Fiona Campbell, PhD Student, James Cook University (Australia)

‘Society’ and the Recognition of First Nations Peoples Rights

The concept of society has been recognised as a central theme in international law, defining both sovereignty and membership of the family of nations (Angie 2004). In the Australian context the concept of society manifested in common law doctrines such as the enlarged notion of terra nullius, which was used to justify the colonisation of first nation peoples’ lands and denial of their inherent sovereignty. More recently this concept has been applied in the native title context, and is seen as a necessary element of proving traditional laws and customs as the basis for native title recognition. In a number of cases however the finding of a ‘society’ has not been determinative of native title rights – despite the court’s insistent that ‘society’ is a body of people united by a body of law and custom. This paper will examine the need to prove a society, and argues that the relationship between society and the recognition of rights is central to Western legal systems and concepts of law.

Presenter:
Marcelle Burns, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Law School, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Chair:
Dr Yogeswaran Subramaniam, Associate Member, Centre for Malaysian Indigenous Studies, University of Malaya (Malaysia)

Genocide in Australia – Did it happen? Is it still happening? What can be done now?

This session poses questions in relation to legal and policy avenues available to address the intergenerational impacts of unrecognised acts of genocide, based on issues raised by Timothy Bottoms in Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s Frontier Killing Times. The book establishes clear links between the escalating wave of killings that occurred in the 1860s and 70s with both the expansion of the pastoral industry and the importation of breech-loading rifles by the fledging Queensland colony.

  • Did these acts of violence constitute genocide, as it might have been recognised in law then, and now in the context of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide?
  • Is there evidence of a continuing genocide?
  • How does the largely unrecognised nature of what occurred continue to impact on Aboriginal society and Australia’s attempts to come to terms with its history?
Presenters:
Scott McDougall, Director, Caxton Legal Centre (Australia)
Ailsa McKeon, Participant, UQ Pro Bono Centre Manning Street Project (Australia)
Hannah Baldry, Participant, UQ Pro Bono Centre Manning Street Project (Australia)
Chair:
Professor Anita Lee Hong, Director, Oodgeroo Unit, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

2.30pm

Afternoon tea

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

3pm

Keynote 1

Room: P514

Which legal system/s is being recognised in Indigenous Nation Building?: Aboriginal Nations’ internal recognition across national boundaries

The Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clearly articulates the right of Indigenous peoples (nations) to identify institutions that protect cultural ways of being and connection to culture through connection to place. No such right to identity should be limited as to requiring the State to ‘recognise’ the existence of the identified institution for that institution to – in fact - exist. How and what exists is for the Indigenous Peoples’ to determine. This paper seeks to position the western legal system as the ‘other’ when it comes to how Indigenous Peoples may articulate and continue to operationalise their legal systems.

Presenter:
Dr Mark McMillan, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne (Australia)

Keynote 2

Defrosting the Self-Determining Imagination: On the International Law of Self-Determination and the Precocious Struggle of Pacific Peoples to Tooth a Tiger

This talk explores the evolution of the right of self-determination under international law, namely in the context of non-self-governing and Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific region struggling to materialize the promise of this fundamental collective right against the onslaught of new and ever more innovative waves of predatory global capitalism, colonialism and hyper-militarism. This talk attempts to trace with precision not only the legal contours of the self-determination question but also the legal-political fault lines in several live self-determination struggles in Oceania today, where the stakes are high and the battle on.

Presenter:
Julian Aguon, Lawyer, Law Office of Julian Aguon (Guam)
Chair:
Tony McAvoy, Acting Part-time Commissioner Land and Environment Court Chairperson, National Indigenous Lawyers Corporation and Barrister, New South Wales Bar Association (Australia)

6.30pm

Student Yarning Circle

Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block

This event is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attending the conference and will feature presentations from leading Indigenous law and justice professionals and informal networking opportunities.

Find out more

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8pm

Close

Thursday 26 June

8am

Registration

P Block – Level 5 Terrace

8.30am

Indigenous Women: Human Rights

Room: P514

Human rights of Indigenous Peoples as they relate to indigenous women with a discussion of how non-indigenous laws and colonial policies have impacted Indigenous women's human rights (remembering the past) and looking to the future - what we, as Indigenous women are doing to assert, reclaim and protect our human rights.

Performance:
To be confirmed
Presenter:
Peggy Bird, Co-founder, Coalition to Stop Violence against Native Women; Co-founder Native Women’s Advocacy Center Inc; Co-founder, NCAI Violence against Native Women Task Force (United States of America)
Chair:
Dr Mark McMillan, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne (Australia)

10am

Morning tea

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

Proudly sponsored by

Red Cliff Project Consultants

10.30am

Indigenous Knowledges: Practice

Room: P419

Māori Land and Community Law – Past, Present and Future

Māori collectively consider themselves to be guardians or Kaitiaki of land. Land provides Māori with their place to stand. It is not just their land but the land of their tipuna (ancestors) and uri (descendants). Māori understanding of land ownership accordingly differs from that of Western culture in a number of significant ways. For Māori, the driving factor for decision making is the impact of today’s decisions on tomorrow’s generation. The Ngãi Tahu Māori Law Centre (NTMLC) is the sole Māori focused service among the 24 Community Law Centres in Aotearoa. NTMLC Lawyers will speak about the journey of the centre to date, the legal issues faced by owners of Māori land, past and present, the unique status of Titi island ownership with a focus on recent changes, and explain why, in 2014, Māori land is still a justice issue.

Presenters:
Desiree Williams, Lawyer, Ngãi Tahu Māori Law Centre (New Zealand)
Haines Ellison, Lawyer, Ngãi Tahu Māori Law Centre (New Zealand)
Malcolm Lucas, Lawyer, Ngãi Tahu Māori Law Centre (New Zealand)

Relationships to Land

Room: P421

Legal Innovation in Treaty of Waitangi Settlements

Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements are a significant feature of the present and future relationship between the Crown and Māori. These settlements provide legal and political opportunities for Māori to seek redress for Crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. This session will provide an update on the progress of Treaty of Waitangi settlements and some insights into legal innovation in recent settlements, including new forms of title to lands, new regimes for Māori housing, clauses that preserve indigenous claims to ownership of water, and the ascribing of legal personality to lands and waters.

Presenter:
Linda Te Aho, Associate Dean Māori, Te Piringa Faculty of Law, University of Waikato (New Zealand)

Criminal Justice

Room: P514

Human Rights – righting wrongs for Indigenous Australians

April 15 2014 marks 23 years since the release of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991. Over 20 years later, most recommendations of the Royal Commission have not been implemented. This session will examine human rights, under the rubric of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibility Act 2006 (Vic) (‘the Charter’) as a model across Australia, in how it can impact upon Indigenous Australians, particularly when in police custody. The over-representation of Indigenous Australians in the criminal justice system has not changed but it is proposed that when the police as ‘public authorities’ comply with their responsibilities under a Charter, attitudes and behaviour can change to alter outcomes of over-representation.

Presenter:
Hans Paul Bokeland, CEO, Goldfields Land and Sea Council (Australia)

Know Your Rights, Change Your Future

Law is more than just being a lawyer; law in the context of legal aid work encompasses financial counselling, social work, case work, and emotional support. Legal aid services dealing with Indigenous people are required to provide a full rounded service which goes beyond the traditional legal advice. This session will explore the way in which the development of education materials for the community on a variety of legal education topics including rights with police, consumer affairs, family law, court processes and domestic violence orders is pivotal to the role Indigenous People play in the Justice system.

Presenter:
Tanya Pass, Community Legal Education Lawyer, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) (Australia)

Consultation or Consent: Indigenous People's Rights in Relation to Resource Development on Traditional Lands

This session will identify and define the requirements of FPIC and will reflect on the meaning, origins and application of free, prior, and informed consent as well as the assumptions underlying its application to Indigenous lands. The key focus of this paper will be a critical review of the ‘consent’ concept under FPIC and an identification of practical guidelines for implementing FPIC on Indigenous lands.

Presenter:
Associate Professor Margaret Stephenson, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland (Australia)

Assessing the effects of the Criminal Justice Process on Ngāti Kahungunu

Ngati Kahungunu has the second largest iwi rohe (tribal region) and the third largest iwi (tribal) population in Aotearoa (New Zealand). In 2010 Ngati Kahungunu, began a five year systemic research project into all aspects of the Criminal Justice Process (CJP) to understand the effects of the CJP on Ngati Kahungunu. Over 150 people engaged with Ngati Kahungunu and the CJP were interviewed including gang members, police prosecutors, iwi (tribal) leaders, police officers, mothers and fathers, and those that had been convicted and/or incarcerated. This session will provide a brief overview of the effects of the CJP on the iwi of Ngati Kahungunu at a whanau (family), hapu (sub-tribe) and systemic level; provide an analysis of the discrepancies within the CJP; and identify the processes that Ngati Kahungunu have engaged in with whanau (families) and the government to lower the criminal offending, conviction and incarceration rates with the Ngati Kahungunu rohe.

Presenter:
Kiritapu Allan, Solicitor, Kahui Legal (New Zealand)

Indigenous Peoples and Consumer Law: The impact of culture, history and location

A literature review reveals the need for a different approach to the protection of Indigenous consumers. This session will explore the role of culture in consumer transactions involving Indigenous People; locational issues; and the enduring historical impact of colonisation on Indigenous consumers. Despite the efforts of the regulators in enforcing the consumer protection law against businesses, the court sees repeat offending. The ability of traders to continue with breaches of the consumer law or reoffend is heightened for Indigenous consumers by issues such as language, commercial literacy, remoteness, cultural and historical aspects and market forces. These ‘characteristics’ act as a unique combination of circumstances which require a specific approach to consumer protection – one that addresses these issues and redresses ‘advantage’ and ‘disadvantage’ and ‘power’ and ‘vulnerability’.

Presenter:
Heron Loban, Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Australia)
Chair:
Dr Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Lecturer - School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University (Australia)

The Relationship to Land

This presentation will examine and highlight the creational linkage of the First Australians’ Relationship to Land. The polity system of law plays an important role in binding all Australia's First Nations people into homogenous receivership of the law from the Dreamtime. This in turn links the relationship to land for the Australia's First Nations People via its polity system of laws, spiritual and ceremonial relationship attachment to the very land that forms the economy for Australia's First Nations People.

Presenter:
Ken Lechleitner, Aboriginal Legal Support Officer, Community Legal Education Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) (Australia)
Chair:
Dr Asmi Wood, Senior Research Fellow, National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University (Australia)

Can contemporary Australian prisons be considered frontier enclaves?

More than 20 years after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC), little has been made of the discursive underpinnings of prisons despite the increasing over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the Australian penal system. In this presentation the concept of contemporary Australian prisons as postcolonial frontier enclaves is used to give an alternative explanation for the increasing rather than decreasing rates of Aboriginal people being imprisoned. It examines the discursive underpinnings of prisons from a postcolonial perspective to argue that, because prisons contain large Aboriginal populations remotely located on the frontier of the relationship between Aboriginal people and the settler-state, they are isolated and dangerous spaces, places of moral ambiguity and contingent possibilities and developing as an industry they are postcolonial frontier enclaves.

Presenter:
Toni McPherson, Consultant, Toni McPherson Consulting (Australia)
Chair:
Juan Tauri, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

12pm

Lunch

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

Women’s talking circle

12.10pm

Room: P514

Presenters:
Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples (United States of America)
Esupat Ngulupa, Board Member, Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO) (Tanzania)
Shannon Dona Massar, Co-founder, Faith Foundation Organisation (India)
Jennes Lekimain, Co-founder and Program Officer, Il’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC) (Kenya)

1pm

Relationships to Land

Room: P514

Sacred Places – Sacred Relationships – Sacred Paradigms

Indigenous Peoples’ ancient and distinct relationship with the Natural World and spiritual engagement with sacred places has nurtured the development of a unique Earth-based paradigm that has sustained life for many thousands of years. Resource extractive, consumer-based, industrial society threatens the viability and continuity of this world view. This ongoing colonization is further perpetrated and sustained by a legal precedent and framework in the United States which provides for the destruction of sacred places and denies Indigenous Peoples’ religious freedom with impunity. This presentation will also share Indigenous Peoples’ strategies to protect and recover sacred relationships to lands, territories, cultures and collective spirit.

Presenter:
Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples (United States of America)

Human Rights

Room: P421

Indigenous People of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, defense and relationship with the land.

In the current context, from the perspective of human rights, the control of Indigenous land rights also involves control of resources, huge issue for our people. This session describes the current status of the collective land rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua as well as the main challenge faced in this: the consolidation of territories entitled as a result of the invasion of settlers.

Under Law 445: the Communal Lands of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and the River Coco, Bocay, Indio and Maiz, 2005 to date, have been entitled 21 Indigenous Territories and African descent, representing 99% of the total. The sanitation, established by law as the last step, after the delivery of the title, is today, the cry of Indigenous People of Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.

Presenter:
Hazel Law Blanco, Miskitu Indigenous Leader, Professor and lawyer, Indigenous Movement of the Caribean Coast (Nicaragua)

Economic Independence

Room: P419

The Palm Island Story - Achieving Real Change in a Remote Aboriginal Community

Palm Island is a community on the cusp of achieving real change through employment and economic development. Palm Island is a case study in what can be achieved through strategic collaboration between government, private enterprise, and the Not-for-Profit sector working in partnership with the local Palm Island community.

The Palm Island Community Company (PICC) is the largest Not-for-Profit community services organisation with a permanent presence on the Island. PICC’s investment and commitment to harnessing local leadership has achieved over 90% employment of local Palm Islanders and, most recently evidenced in the establishment of a private bulk billing primary health centre which has four of the fifteen Indigenous doctors in Queensland working at the centre. The next step is to build sustainable community governance that is fit for purpose to lead the economic independence whole of community process. A strong and robust social services system is however the ‘glue’ that will hold the attainment of economic independence together. This change process, in its simplest form, is about enabling the development of a local community driven economy on the Island.

Presenters:
Rachel Atkinson, General Manager, Palm Island Community Company (Australia)
Jim Petrich, Chair, Palm Island Community Company (Australia)
Robert Willmett, State Manager, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Queensland Government (Australia)

The making of Indigenous Identity through Non-Indigenous Australian Native Title Law: the real, the unreal and the reified

The session will seek to test the hypothesis that Indigenous identities are being significantly altered by the operation of native title laws in Australia, and attempts thus to theorise about the construction of Indigenous identity on the contested terrain of native title law and native title land.

Presenter:
Jonathon Fulcher, Partner, HopgoodGanim (Australia)

Rwanda’s post-genocide approach to ethnicity and its impact on the Batwa's claims as an Indigenous People: An international human rights law perspective

Against a history of ethnic violence and genocide, the Rwandan government embarked upon an ambitious program of nation-building based on a policy of national unity and reconciliation which attempted to create unity by, among other things, abolishing ethnicity. For the Batwa, who suffer extreme poverty and overt discrimination, the policy's effect is to render them invisible as a collective and their claims as Indigenous mute. This session critically examines the effect of Rwanda's approach to ethnicity on the Batwa using international human rights norms as an analytical lens. In so doing, the presenter validates Batwa claims to indigeneity from a normative perspective and analyzes the structural impediments to the realisation of their indigenous rights, arguing Rwanda's ethnically/culturally blind approach to relieving their marginalization cannot succeed given it fails to recognise Batwa as different or to acknowledge the endemic discrimination they face.

Presenter:
Brett Hartley, Senior Associate, Clyde & Co. LLP (United Kingdom)
Chair:
Tony McAvoy, Acting Part-time Commissioner Land and Environment Court Chairperson, National Indigenous Lawyers Corporation and Barrister, New South Wales Bar Association (Australia)

Compensation for Indigenous land access in the 21st Century: a global comparative analysis

Twenty years on from the High Court's landmark Mabo decision, there remains limited judicial guidance in Australia about the appropriate methodology to assess the quantum of compensation payable for the impact of third party dealings in land on native title rights and interests. The Commonwealth native title legislation provides a broad framework which sets up an entitlement to claim compensation but provides little direction on how compensation for native title should be calculated. Given the status of native title law and practice in Australia, there will no doubt be a judicial determination soon which forms a view on how this compensation should be assessed. Interested stakeholders have an opportunity to help influence the appropriate rationale which the Courts may ultimately adopt. This is important as this contingent liability for compensation in Australia could play a part in providing some financial basis for the building of indigenous communities in the future. This session will explore some of the issues relevant to the assessment of compensation for impact on native title rights and deliver a high level comparative analysis of the methods used in other jurisdictions to assess the value for the impairment on indigenous rights.

Presenter:
Tony Denholder, Partner, Ashurst Australia (Australia)
Chair:
Ken Lechleitner, Aboriginal Legal Support Officer, Community Legal Education Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) (Australia)

2.30pm

Afternoon tea

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

3pm

Indigenous Women: Human Rights

Room: P514

Respecting Indigenous legal traditions and knowledge, specifically Haudenosaunee laws that respect and honour Indigenous women. Presentation with a discussion about how Indigenous women have taken the brunt of violent colonial laws resulting in the critical issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

Presenter:
Beverly Jacobs, Mohawk Lawyer, Jacobs Law and former President, Native Women’s Association of Canada (Mohawk Nation)
Chair:
Sandra Creamer, Academic Lecturer, Office of Indigenous Engagement, CQUniversity

4.30pm

Close

6.30pm

Conference dinner

Ballroom, Mercure Brisbane, 85–87 North Quay, Brisbane

Presenters:
The Honourable Alan Tudge MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Australia)
His Honour Judge Matthew Myers AM, Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Australia)
MC:
Uncle Bill Buchanan, Kooma and Gwamu Elder; Co-Chair, Reconciliation Queensland; Elder, Brisbane Magistrates Indigenous Sentencing Court; Equity Officer, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Presentation:
National Indigenous Legal Professional Award and the National Indigenous Law Student Prize to be presented by The Honourable Alan Tudge MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Australia)

Friday 27 June

8am

Registration

P Block – Level 5 Terrace

8.30am

Economic Independence – Native Title

Room: P514

Agreement making in Indigenous contexts

A panel discussion covering agreement making processes, including mediation, particularly working with multi party disputes. Discussion will include the advantages and challenges of working within such a context both for parties and the mediator/facilitator of the process, techniques used to facilitate agreement making, and factors to consider for parties who participate in such processes, including Indigenous Peoples, miners/explorers, government bodies (including federal, state and local governments) and others.

Presenters:
Raelene Webb QC, President, National Native Title Tribunal (Australia)
Helen Shurven, Member, National Native Title Tribunal (Australia)
Clair Berman-Robinson, Senior Coordinator (Future Acts), National Native Title Tribunal (Australia)
Louise Doyle, Regional Coordinator, National Native Title Tribunal (Australia)
Chair:
Helen Bowskill QC, Barrister, Queensland Bar (Australia)

Indigenous Knowledges: Research

Room: P421

You’ll only need three days: Lessons learned doing research in Indigenous communities

As part of an evaluation research project focused on young people and crime prevention, a QUT School of Justice team conducted fieldwork in a remote Indigenous community in 2013. It was a first experience doing fieldwork in a remote Indigenous community. As such, the team sought advice from a range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues, from within the Faculty, from the funding agency, and from our existing professional networks. This session presents reflections on the accuracy and usefulness of the advice provided and the conflicts and tensions that exists between the advice and subsequent experiences. It further reflects on the implications of conducting research informed by competing notions of what it means to be an ethical researcher with Indigenous communities.

Presenters:
Dr Angela Dwyer, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Dr Kelly Richards, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Dr Cassandra Cross, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

The problem with research

This paper will share reflections on legal research and its potential to maintain/impose a colonising force upon Indigenous Peoples' lives. It outlines the process followed to find more ethical legal research. This process required the researcher to become more conscious of standpoint and the limitations consequent upon this. It was enabled by an engagement with Indigenous knowledge that encouraged analysis and disruption of both the researcher's and the law's epistemological 'world'.

Presenter:
Dr Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Lecturer - School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University (Australia)

Settler Colonialism, Criminal Justice and Indigenous Peoples

This presentation offers an Indigenous-centred, critical perspective on the Colonial Projects (Thomas, 1994) employed in settler-colonial contexts to negate, or at the very least nullify, the negative impact of two inter-related ‘wicked problems’ peculiar to these jurisdictions, namely the high levels of Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system, and the impact of Indigenous resistance to the hegemony of the imposed, criminal justice systems deployed by settler-colonial states. The presentation is comprised of three inter-related sections; parts one and two outline the construction and deployment of Colonial Projects in the colonial and neo-colonial contexts, wherein it is argued that the matrix of criminal justice was foundational to the state’s attempted eradication of, and eventual socio-economic marginalisation of Indigenous Peoples. The final section will argue that the continued success of criminal justice as a (neo)colonial project, stems from its parasitic relationship with the discipline of criminology. Together, these supportive colonial projects deployment against First Nations demonstrates that structural violence continues to be a significant component of social control in the neo-liberal, neo-colonial context.

Presenter:
Juan Tauri, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Chair:
Marcelle Burns, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Law School, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

10am

Morning tea

P Block - Level 6 Terrace

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10.30am

Indigenous Women and Children: Indigenous Children

Room: P421

Mapuche women, violence and rights: conflicts of inter legality or racism concealed in Chile?

Women’s movements at the global level, for decades have struggled for recognition of their rights and the elimination of this scourge. As a result, currently it is noted that with regard to the eradication of violence against women there is a normative system installed on both the national and international level. In the discussion on the rights of women in Indigenous communities, there immediately arises a question about whether they should be addressed as individual or collective rights. The interpretation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Inter-American judicial framework establishes the primacy of women’s right to live without being subjected to gender-based violence. Therefore, states may not invoke any cultural discourse which includes notions of customs, traditions or religion to justify or condone violence against women.

Presenters:
Margarita Calfio Montalva, CONDAI (Chile)
Associate Professor Dea Delaney-Thiele, Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA) (Australia)

Relationships to the Land

Room: P514

A Return to Unbridled Power in New Zealand’s Environmental Management and Resource Allocation Regimes

The very recent amendments to New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA) and the development of an environmental management regime for activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (the EEZ) are two recent examples of the current New Zealand’s Government striving for a return to unbridled power over the allocation and management of natural resources in New Zealand. This power has often, if not always, come at the expense of Māori engagement and authority over the allocation and continued management of such resources and the environment generally. This severely affects Maori tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga responsibilities. This paper examines both the recent changes to the RMA and the new EEZ regulatory regime, particularly in light of the Waitangi Tribunal’s findings and recommendations in Ko Aotearoa Tēnei. This session draws some insight from an Indigenous experience in the United States and considers the broader cultural and constitutional implications of the New Zealand Government’s unbridled power in this regard.

Presenter:
Horiana Irwin-Easthope, Solicitor, Kahui Legal (New Zealand)

Ngarra Law

Room: P419

Our presenter will discuss Ngarra Law, as practiced by Yolngu peoples of Eastern Arnhem land for many thousands of years. As an active member of the Yolngu people, James will explore how their system of law has been recognised and integrated with the Australian legal system.

Presenter:
James Gaykamanu, Court Liason Officer, Department of Attorney-General and Justice, Northern Territory; Interpreter, Northern Territory Interpreter and Translator Services; Senior Lawman, Yolngu, East Arnhem Land (Australia)
Chair:
Sandra Creamer, Academic Lecturer, Office of Indigenous Engagement, CQUniversity (Australia)

The Mothering Tree: Healing for mothers when their child has experienced sexual assault

In 2007 the Northern Territory Government paper "Little Children Are Sacred" reported that Child Sexual Assault in the Indigenous community had reached crisis level; many other reports have been written since then and the statistics have not changed and may have increased. Two Aboriginal workers at Rosie's Place led a project which reported on conversations with Aboriginal mothers who talked about the thoughts and feelings they held when they discovered that their child had been sexually assaulted. A book was published as a result of this project: The Mothering Tree, a tool that opens up a dialogue among families affected by child sexual assault. Using the book, this presentation will discuss the healing processes that occurred for women faced with the sexual assault of their child.

Presenter:
Natalie Short, Counsellor, Rosie’s Place Inc (Australia)
Chair:
Margarita Escartin, Director, Red Cliff Project Consultants (Australia)

Indigenous Land Development- Lessons From New Zealand

Although New Zealand Māori have only retained ownership of a small proportion of their traditional lands this still amounts to significant areas across the country. However, recent reports have suggested that some 80% of these lands are under-performing economically. In this presentation recent suggestions as to how this problem can be addressed will be examined.

In analysing contrasting approaches, reference is made to arguments by Professor Alan Ward that the key to improving the ability of Indigenous Peoples to administer their traditional lands is to restore the ability of communal land authorities (or their modern day equivalents) to co-ordinate and control land use.

Presenter:
Michael Sharp, Partner, Holland Beckett Lawyers (New Zealand)

Making Waves: Exploring the future of sea country governance

This paper considers mechanisms for sea country governance in Australia and asks questions about the past, present and future of decision-making about sea country. The High Court’s decision in the Torres Strait Sea claim (Akiba v Commonwealth [2013] HCA 33), and the long fight for recognition of those rights, reminds us that sea country is an integral part of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. However, native title rights to the sea can only be non-exclusive. Given this limitation, after native title rights are recognised, what do communities do to ‘maximise’ their aspirations to manage sea country?

Presenter:
Lauren Butterly, Associate Lecturer, ANU College of Law (Australia)
Chair:
Josh Creamer, President, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland (Australia)

12pm

Close

Room: P514

Presenter:
Shayne Neumann MP, Federal Member for Blair, Queensland (Australia)
Chair:
Josh Creamer, President, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland (Australia)

1pm

Lunch

P Block – Level 6 Terrace

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