Our Land Council Our Mob Our Future: September 2014

Welcome to Edition# 2 of Our Land Council Our Mob our Future from the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.

Over the past weeks we've asked you to share with us what land means to you. Thanks to everyone who submitted their words and photos. Click here to see a selection of your words.

Read on for more stories on our mob, and on how land and Land Rights are helping make communities strong and sustainable.

We'll be announcing the winner of our first competition this week, so keep up with the latest news from NSWALC through Facebook and Twitter and get your mob to subscribe to this monthly enews at ourmob.org.au.


My Journey Through Land Rights

Councillor Tina Williams is a Bundjalung woman from Lismore and member of the Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council.

"Land to me is cultural, belonging, and it's my identity. Something I want to instil in my daughter and my grandson, that you do belong somewhere. Land is the most important part of my journey."

Read her full story here.

Have Your Say in the Future

Councillor Peter Smith is a Dunghutti man originally from Kempsey. He is a member of the Purfleet-Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council.

"Our land is a spiritual home of our ancestors and our people, it's a place of livelihood, it’s a place of healing for our mob. It's also a place of growing and making sure your culture is looked after."

Read his full story here.

Our Mob: Craig Britt

Craig Britt a Yuwaalaraay man from Goodooga, is a Senior LALC Support Officer  based at the NSWALC Western Zone office in Dubbo. He has been working with NSWALC for just over 24 years, our longest serving staff member!

"All of my work is important but the most satisfying is the capacity development and training, developing tools and support systems to assist LALCs with day to day functions, trying to simplify reporting requirements and their day to day workloads."

Read Craig's full story here.

Our Land Councils

Coonabarabran: many mobs one community

One of the joint CEOs of the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) used to be a bank manager and its Chairperson is a successful business owner in the region. It is only natural then, that building a strong economic future has been high on the LALC’s priority list.

Read the full story here.

See the video here.

Orange: strong LALC, strong mob

Land regeneration, disability, homelessness, employment, training, biodiversity. This is not the usual to-do list of a Local Aboriginal Land Council. But at Orange LALC these are the pillars on which they hope to build stronger communities and a sustainable council.

Read the full story here.

See the video here.

Our Mob: Members

Young Kamilaroi women Brittni Wann and Lakeisha Hile work at the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council. They both recently joined their local Land Council.

"If you just go along and get involved it opens up new pathways. I really didn't know much about what a LALC did before I got here but it really opens your eyes."

Read Brittni and Lakeisha's story here.

Feature: Land Rights, the story so far

"What do we want?" sings Archie Roach in Too Many Bridges. “Land Rights! Land Rights is what we say.” Songs cry for it. Red, black and gold marches pound the streets for it. Laws enact it. But how does the land rights system work in NSW? And is it working hard enough?

Aboriginal people can claim land through two processes – Land Rights and Native Title. While both enable communities to build a land base and have the potential to generate income, the two systems operate under different laws and grant different rights and titles to land.

In 1983 the NSW parliament passed the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA). This gave Aboriginal people a powerful legal right to make claims on Crown lands.  If these lands are not used, occupied or needed they are claimable and must be returned to Land Councils through a freehold grant.

The ALRA aimed to compensate for two centuries of dispossession and recognised the enduring disadvantage found within Aboriginal communities. The mechanism is established through NSWALC and a network of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs).

Successful land claims enable Aboriginal communities to create and manage their own wealth base. They also encourage cultural and social revitalisation. All of this provides the key foundations for Aboriginal communities being more in control of their futures.

Read the full feature here.