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This is the inside story of the Mabo case, a unique court drama where rights and interests previously unknown to Anglo-Australian law came to be recognised by the High Court of Australia. In far north-east Australia lie the homelands of the Meriam, a dynamic seafaring, fishing and gardening people. They explained in court, often eloquently, how their 'cultural way' retains a fidelity to distinctive principles while also accommodating new ideas and techniques. In the name of Meriam law they also defended their right to land passed between generations by the spoken word. Their right to land carries with it a moral and practical responsibility to other Meriam and to the land itself. Meriam culture, often diminished in the hearing of evidence, has an original contribution to make to future Meriam, to the rest of Australia and to the world. In exploring the role of native title in the reshaping of Australian identity, some of the deeper questions of cultural diversity and self-determination are identified.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780855752873
ISBN-10: 0855752874
Format: Paperback
(180mm x 260mm x 20mm)
Pages: 290
Imprint: Aboriginal Studies Press
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1996
Country of Publication: Australia

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Author Biography - Nonie Sharp

Nonie Sharp is an honorary research fellow at the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University.

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