Bandjalang Native Title Claims #1 & #2 Finalised at Evans Head

Editor’s Warning:  This story contains the name of a deceased member of the Bandjalang People

Aboriginal Flag

Native Title Claims by the Bandjalang have finally been resolved 17 years after the original application was made to the National Native Title Tribunal.

Sign prepared for the Consent Determination at Evans Head

Sign prepared for the Consent Determination at Evans Head

The claim, instigated by the late Mr Lawrence “Uncle Lawrie” Wilson of Coraki, has been through many iterations and has included many parties including various NSW government departments and the Federal government.

A walkway at Dirawong Reserve on the eastern side of Evans Head has been named after Uncle Lawrie.  The Dirawong has very special significance to the Bandjalang people

A walkway at Dirawong Reserve on the eastern side of Evans Head has been named after Uncle Lawrie. The Dirawong has very special significance to the Bandjalang people. Part of Dirawong Reserve is shown below

IMG_1115

At a formal Supreme Court Hearing held at the Woodburn-Evans Head RSL on 2 December 2013 Justice Jagot publicly announced the Court’s Determination before more than 200  attendees, most from the Bundjalung Nation.

IMG_8971

Many members of the Aboriginal were overwhelmed by the announcement and the occasion; some wept while others shouted out in jubilation.

Part of the audience after the announcement

Part of the audience after the announcement including Doug Wilson who spoke on the occasion shown here with other family members

The Native Title Determination which was presented to various representatives of the Bandjalang Nation

The Native Title Determination which was presented to various representatives of the Bandjalang Nation

Doug Wilson, son of the late Lawrence Wilson, presented Justice Jagot with a painting to mark the occasion.

Justice Jagot with Doug Wilson's (L) painting.  His brother Daniel is shown on the right.  Daniel also presented one of his own artworks to the NSW  Crown Solicitor's Office

Justice Jagot with Doug Wilson’s (L) painting. His brother Daniel is shown on the right. Daniel also presented one of his own artworks to the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office

Staff of Crown Solicitor's Office with painting from Doug Wilson

Staff of Crown Solicitor’s Office with painting from Doug Wilson

The Yaegl people presented a painting to say thank you for what Uncle Lawrie had done for Native Title recognition, an important and moving gesture on the day

The Yaegl people presented a painting to say thank you for what Uncle Lawrie had done for Native Title recognition, an important and moving gesture on the day

Representatives of the Aboriginal Nation and various government departments and agencies gathered for a group photo for the assembled media

Part of the group assembled for the obligatory group photograph on the occasion

Part of the group assembled for the obligatory group photograph on the occasion.  The sheer delight of some of the participants needs no explanation

T-Shirt designed for the occasion showing The Dirawong and held by Doug Wilson

T-Shirt designed for the occasion showing The Dirawong and held by Doug Wilson

The Native Title Rights Determination recognized the right of the Bandjalang People (Part of the Bundjalung Nation to hunt, fish, camp and protect cultural sites on the NSW North Coast including Evans Head.  National Parks, Crown Lands and State Forests are including in the Determination.

The area covered extends from North of Grafton to Casino and to the coast at Evans Head, an area of nearly 3,000 square kilometres.

Native Title beneficiary with grandson at the Evans Head Determination

Native Title beneficiary with grandson at the Evans Head Determination

Doug Wilson noted in his declaration to the assembled crowd that he could now call Evans Head ‘Home’ following the formal Hearing.

The Determination of 2 December is a ‘red letter day’ in Aboriginal History as it brings formal recognition of ‘ownership’ of the land to the Aboriginal people of the north coast through the mechanism of various rights.

 

This entry was posted in Aboriginal Native Title Determination Evans Head, Bandjalang, Bundjalung Nation, Chinamen's Beach, Dirawong Reserve, Evans Head, Native Title Claim, ntscorp and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.