Professor Greta Bird
Southern Cross University
The Ngaliwurri and Nungali Peoples of the Country known in white law as Timber Creek commenced three proceedings under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in 1999 and 2000. The matter came before the High Court in 2018 with judgment in 2019. Twenty-seven years after the Mabo decision, and twenty years after the claims were lodged, the High Court awarded the Ngaliwurru and Ngali Peoples compensation, inter alia, for ‘cultural loss.’ This was the first time the High Court had awarded compensation for ‘cultural loss’ under the NTA and a precedent has been set. This paper will engage with the judgment and critique the white cultural privilege embedded throughout.
Adjunct Professor Greta Bird is a founding member of the School of Law and Justice, and scholar in the fields of multiculturalism and the law, Indigenous studies, law and society, feminist critique, and critical race theory. She was an Australian Law Reform Commissioner on the Multiculturalism and Law reference, which reported in 1992 (Multiculturalism and the Law, Report 57), and Director of the National Centre for Cross-cultural Studies in Law. Her work has consistently broken new ground in Australian legal scholarship. Greta is the author of numerous works, including The Civilizing Mission: Race and the Construction of Crime (1987), and The Process of Law in Australia: Intercultural Perspectives (1993).