Posted: November 28th, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 November 2018

Nanda people celebrate native title win

At an on-Country Federal Court hearing at Kalbarri Foreshore in WA – the Nanda people have been formally recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as native title holders after a
24-year long legal process. Today’s hearing marks the beginning of a new phase for the Nanda people as native title holders.

The judgement made by Justice Mortimer recognised the native title rights and interests held by the Nanda people in relation to the land and waters covered by the Determination Area.

Justice Mortimer said, “In relation to the Determination Area there be a determination of native title in (WAD 6136 of 1998) and (WAD 286 of 2018) in the terms provided for in Attachment A.”

Justice Mortimer congratulated the Nanda people on their native title determination.

The Nanda People native title claim (WAD 6136 of 1998) is a combination of two earlier claims, with the first claim lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) in 1994, and the second claim lodged two years later. In 2000, the claims were combined to the current claim (WAD 286 of 2018).

The Determination Area covers about 17,000 square kilometres of Nanda traditional country and encompasses: the town of Kalbarri, Kalbarri National Park, the Zuytdorp Nature Reserve and the Toolonga Nature Reserve. While all Country is important to the Nanda people, the area around the Murchison River is of particular significance as are Tamala and Coolcalalya.

The Nanda people have negotiated the recognition of exclusive possession native title rights over important areas in the Determination Area. This includes land at paradise flats, around Bully, Wilgie Mia, Mooliabatanya and Syphon pools.

The Nanda people have maintained a traditional connection to this area for tens of thousands of years, with a vibrant living culture maintained through ceremonies, beliefs, music, art, and knowledge of the spiritually-imbued landscape.

Chair of the Nanda Aboriginal Corporation, Carrum Mourambine said, “Today’s hearing was an emotional one as some of our Elders who have passed away since the original claim was made were not here to witness this historic occasion for Nanda.”

“This determination means that we can continue to pass on our knowledge of culture and traditional customs to future generations,” Mr Mourambine said.

The celebration was facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), the Native Title Representative Body for the Yamatji region.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Simon Hawkins said, “The native title recognition means that the Nanda people have been recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as the traditional owners of Nanda country.”

“As the Native Title Representative Body, we are pleased to have been part of this successful determination,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Congratulations to everyone involved for their hard work.”

To download the media release click here.