Native Title and Community: A Social and Environmental Justice Perspective


  • Meaghan Katrak University of Sydney
  • Mark Harris University of British Columbia


This paper is concerned with the impact of native title on an Aboriginal community in Robinvale, rural Victoria Australia. It draws on the authors’ lived experience of over three decades living and working alongside the local Aboriginal community and the observance of this impact. Far from being a positive and beneficial process that has empowered the community it will be argued that the native title process actually damaged and fractured the relations within the Aboriginal community. This historical perspective will highlight this as a continuation of imposed notions of community and enforced organisational structures that have continued to impact Indigenous communities since colonisation. This will include and encompass the implementation of the Native Title Act (Cth) 1993. It will be argued that native title as yet another imposed government structure and definition of Aboriginal identity, has negatively impacted on this Aboriginal community from social, cultural and environmental justice perspectives.  

Author Biographies

Meaghan Katrak, University of Sydney

Dr Meaghan Katrak is a social worker, researcher and educator. She currently teaches and researches with the University of Sydney.

Mark Harris, University of British Columbia

Dr Mark Harris is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.



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