Intrumentalizations of history and the Single Noongar claim

belated motion to strike out single Noongar claim for lack of proper authorisation.

It's Still in My Heart, This is My Country': The Single Noongar Claim History

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  • Originally titled ‘Applicants Historical Report’ and prepared as expert evidence in the native title case known as Single Noongar Claim, this book analyses the historiography and associated anthropology of the South-West. Coupled with Noongar oral history, it examines the survival of Noongar tradition, law and custom, proving that many of the most common misconceptions regarding the disappearance of Noongar culture have no basis in fact. Existing histories tend to represent the Noongar people as passive victims of colonisers and governments; it is all to easy to assume that theirs is little more than one of attempted assimilation, separation and state intrusion. Noongars are rarely represented as active survivors – as people who retained their traditional ways and country in the face of politics aimed at eliminating all aspects of their heritage.

    Originally titled ‘Applicants Historical Report’ and prepared as expert evidence in the native title case known as Single Noongar Claim, this book analyses the historiography and associated anthropology of the South-West. Coupled with Noongar oral history, it examines the survival of Noongar tradition, law and custom, proving that many of the most common misconceptions regarding the disappearance of Noongar culture have no basis in fact. Existing histories tend to represent the Noongar people as passive victims of colonisers and governments; it is all to easy to assume that theirs is little more than one of attempted assimilation, separation and state intrusion. Noongars are rarely represented as active survivors – as people who retained their traditional ways and country in the face of politics aimed at eliminating all aspects of their heritage.

  • Eighty applicants acting on behalf of the claimant group, the Noongar people, commenced action in the Federal Court in October 2005 to have their native title rights and interests determined. The land subject to the Single Noongar Claim was in the southwest corner of Western Australia and included Perth. The primary respondent to the application was the Western Australian Government. The Commonwealth Government also became a party to the proceeding. Sixty-six other respondents were listed as parties.

    "I have instructed my department to initiate proceedings for the Australian government to appeal against the recent decision in Perth of the Single Noongar claim," he told reporters.

    Author: John T Host; Chris Owens
    Publisher: Crawley, W.A. : UWA Press, 2009.
    Edition/Format:  Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
    Database:WorldCat
    Summary:
    Prepared as expert evidence in the Single Noongar Claim, examines the historiography and anthropology of the South-west, and the survival of Noongar tradition, law and custom, and oral history.
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    Subjects
    • Aboriginal Australians -- Australia -- Western Australia -- History.
    • Nyunga (Australian people)
    • Aboriginal Australians -- Land tenure -- Australia -- Western Australia.
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  • The Noongar people have brought an application for determination of native title (WAG 6006 of 2003, the Single Noongar Claim.) With reference to your discipline and expertise as a linguist, you are requested to prepare an Expert Report for filing with the Federal Court based on the published and unpublished linguistic (and relevant historical) sources and filed research. Please prepare a report addressing the following issues, where relevant:

    1. Can language be used as a means of social identification of groups of people? If so, a. Can the claimant group be identified through reference to language? b. Can the claimant group be identified by reference to neighbouring language groups, if there are any?

    2. Can the claimant group trace its existence (including through historical references to aboriginal language(s) or dialect(s) within the claim area and wordlists) to the people in occupation of the claim area at the time of sovereignty? Discuss any changes/developments in or maintenance of the aboriginal language(s) or dialect(s) within the claim area since sovereignty including reference to language centres and language programs.

    3. Can language be used as a means of connecting people to country? If so, is this historically and currently relevant to the claimant group and the claim area? Discuss with reference to: a. Place names or sites; b. Flora including bush medicine and bush tucker; c. Fauna; and d. Dreaming stories, language and songs.

    4. Reference should be made to any other matters which you think may be relevant to the issue of the association of Noongar claimants to the claim area.

Federal Court of Australia - MSAJ

On 19 September 2006 the brought down a judgment which recognised in an area over the city of and its surrounds, known as [2006] FCA 1243. An was subsequently lodged and was heard in April 2007. The remainder of the larger "Single Noongar Claim" area, covering 193,956 km² of the south-west of Western Australia, remains outstanding, and will hinge on the outcome of this appeal process. In the interim, the Noongar people together will continue to be involved in native title negotiations with the , and are represented by the .