Aboriginal people on a station property near Meekatharra in the 1850’s. photo courtesy of the Western Australian Museum.
Yugunu People celebrate their Native Title determination.

“We stand here today stronger than ever, side by side with our family, elders and our ancestors among us in spirit, finally able to say out loud and proud by white man’s law: We are the Yugungu People. We are the traditional custodians of Yugunga-Nya country. We have rights now and this paper shows it. We are not going away. Our voices have finally been heard and will continue to be. Today is the day we can finally move forward, not focusing on the past trauma and hurt but united as one, working together on a bigger, better and brighter future for all our Yugunu People.” Robyn Kelly-Native Title applicant.

The outcome means the Yugunga-Nya can, access the lands, have their law operate on Mount Yugaghong and secure royalties from mining companies.

“As a distinct group of people, the Federal Court of Australia found that they survived colonisation with their laws, culture, governance structures and connection to country intact. The recognition of native title is just one aspect of the reconciliation model in Australia.” Franklin Gaffney.

Franklin Gaffney, an Irish born lawyer now living in Perth, a specialist in land settlements and cross-cultural negotiations helped the Yugunga-Nya finalise what has been a 25-year journey that ended in the landmark High Court ruling earlier this month.

Listen to the full interview with Franklin Gaffney here: