Indigenous people must ‘resist, in whatever fashion we can’ to protect land and culture


By WGAR News
Australia’s first Indigenous silk [senior barrister], Tony McAvoy, says the native title system “embeds racism” and puts traditional owners under “duress” to approve mining developments or risk losing their land without compensation.

'McAvoy, speaking at a forum in Brisbane, said Indigenous people must “resist, in whatever fashion we can” to protect their land and culture.

'His comments come as two legal disputes between traditional owner groups and the mining giant Adani reach a critical point.

'McAvoy, a Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owner and a senior barrister with experience in native title law, said the system was stacked against Indigenous people. ...

'McAvoy said the W&J people “are in a pitch battle in which we have taken a stand and said ‘no’.”'

Tony McAvoy

'Tony McAvoy SC is Aboriginal man and the only Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to have been appointed Senior Counsel in Australia.

He specialises in native title and discrimination law and has successfully represented many traditional owners in their native title claims in the Federal Court.

He has served as an acting Part-Time Commissioner in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

He was the inaugural recipient of the Attorney General’s award as Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year in 2010.

He currently holds an appointment as co-Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.'

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