NAIDOC Week 2021: Native title and healing country

COVID-19 restrictions impacted many NAIDOC Week celebrations this year, but the 2021 theme of ‘Heal Country’ will resonate in the native title space over the coming months as many Traditional Owners in our region progress along the path toward consent determination.

To the west, the Wangkamahdla People have been caring for some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes for tens of thousands of years, and that unbreakable connection to Country has now been formally recognised by the Federal Court of Australia, with the Wangkamahdla People gaining native title on 14 July 2021. Recognition marks the beginning of a new chapter in the community’s journey toward self-determination, with new opportunities now open to the Wangkamahdla People to promote culture, map rights and build strong stakeholder relationships.

Meanwhile, in Central West Queensland, the Koa People are making tracks on the consent determination pathway, as are the Woppaburra People off the coast of Rockhampton, who call Great Keppel (Wop-pa) Island home. Both communities aim to resolve their native title claims before the end of this year, while a further seven Traditional Owner groups will hopefully progress toward consent determination over the coming 18 months.

If positively determined, QSNTS will have assisted 20 Native Title Holder communities in gaining native title over lands and waters spanning just over 237,300 sq km in the southern and western regions of Queensland – a testament to the tenacity and determination of our Traditional Owner clients.

With the right tools and support, Traditional Owners can leverage their native title rights in the journey toward self-determination, and QSNTS walks with Traditional Owners on that journey, through our legal, research and facilitation services. Contact us on 1800 663 693 for more information.