Richard Martin reviews 'Native Title from Mabo to Akiba: A vehicle for change and empowerment?' edited by Sean Brennan et al.

Richard Martin reviews 'Native Title from Mabo to Akiba: A vehicle for change and empowerment?' edited by Sean Brennan et al.

Native Title from Mabo to Akiba: A Vehicle for Change and Empowerment?

edited by Sean Brennan et al.

Federation Press $84.95 pb, 292 pp, 9781862879980

Since the passage of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and related law reform, legal rights and interests in a significant and growing estate have been transferred to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups around Australia. As Jon Altman and Francis Markham explain in their contribution to this edited collection, this estate now comprises more than thirty per cent of the continent, and includes areas with significant mineral deposits as well as other economic development opportunities. Yet frustrations with the native title system remain so strongly felt that the subtitle of this collection – native title as 'a vehicle for change and empowerment' – is presented here in the form of a question. Offering diverse perspectives from legal practitioners and academics, this collection asks why such change and empowerment has proved so difficult to achieve, and what might be done to improve the system.

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Published in August 2016, no. 383

Richard Martin

Richard Martin's research focuses on the politics of indigeneity in post-settler societies with a particular focus on the Gulf Country of northern Australia. He has published a range of scholarly articles in leading anthropology journals, and co-edited a Special Issue of The Australian Journal of Anthropology. He has also carried out applied research on native title claims and Indigenous cultural heritage matters around Australia.