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Indigenous Law

On this page

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement

www.alrm.org.au

321-325 King William St.
Adelaide SA 5000

Telephone (08) 8113 3777 (24 hour service for emergencies)
Freecall number 1800 643 222
Fax: (08) 8113 3755

Email info@alrm.org.au

Murray Bridge

Shop 1, 20 Bridge Street
Murray Bridge SA 5253

Phone: (08) 8532 4788

Ceduna

Cnr East Tce & Merghiny Dr
Ceduna SA 5690

Phone: (08) 8625 2200

Port Augusta

12 Church St
Port Augusta SA 5700

Phone: (08) 8642 4366

Criminal Law

The lawyers give legal advice, represent through all Court proceedings, help on preparing documents and assist with appeals.

Civil Law

The lawyers help with equal opportunity, family issues and separations, worker's and other compensation, police complaints and other community issues.

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Aboriginal Visitor Scheme

The service assists the police in their duty of care and to provide help and support to Aboriginal people who are arrested and detained in police custody. It is an after hour service and run by the volunteers called Visitors.

Low Income Service Programme

Training on money matters and advice on personal financial problems. Financial counselling and negotiating on financial issues on your behalf.

Government Departments

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SA)

www.environment.sa.gov.au

Chesser House
91-97 Grenfell St
Adelaide SA 5000

GPO Box 1047
Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: (08) 8204 1910

Department of Premier and Cabinet, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division (SA)

www.aboriginalaffairs.sa.gov.au

State Administration Centre
200 Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square)
Adelaide SA 5000

GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA 5001

Telephone: (08) 8226 3184 or 1800 127 001
Fax: (08) 8226 8999

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (Cth)

www.environment.gov.au

John Gorton Building
Environment entrance
King Edward Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 02 6274 1111

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Cth)

Website

Level 18, 11 Waymouth St
Adelaide SA 5000

GPO Box 9820
Adelaide SA 5001

Telephone: (08) 8400 2100 or 1300 653 227
Fax: (08) 8400 2197
Email: enquiries@fahcsia.gov.au

Ceduna

22B East Terrace
Ceduna SA 5690

PO Box 396
Ceduna SA 5690

Telephone: (08) 8624 4050 or 1800 079 098
Fax: (08) 8624 4055

Port Augusta

38-40 Stirling Road
Port Augusta SA 5700

PO Box 2214
Port Augusta SA 5700

Telephone: (08) 8647 1500 or 1800 079 098
Fax: (08) 8641 0684

Acts, Regulations, Rules & Forms

Are you looking for detailed information like this, or contact details for any of the bodies mentioned on this page. If so, then start on our Indigenous Law for Lawyers page.

If it isn't there, then start on our Finding Detailed Legal Information page.

Please read our warning on that page "Be careful using these resources".

The Law is not always as straightforward as it appears. We have not included any information about when and how to use that information or any traps. We assume that the Lawyers will know this.

Acts, Regulations, Rules & Forms

Are you looking for detailed information like this, or contact details for any of the bodies mentioned on this page. If so, then start on our Elder Law for Lawyers page.

If it isn't there, then start on our Finding Detailed Legal Information page.

Please read our warning on that page "Be careful using these resources".

The Law is not always as straightforward as it appears. We have not included any information about when and how to use that information or any traps. We assume that the Lawyers will know this.

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Native Title

Native title is the recognition by Australian law that some Indigenous people have rights and interests to their land that come from their traditional laws and customs.

The native title rights and interests held by particular Indigenous people will depend on both their traditional laws and customs and what interests are held by others in the area concerned. Generally speaking, native title must give way to the rights held by others. The capacity of Australian law to recognise the rights and interests held under traditional law and custom will also be a factor.

Native title rights and interests may include rights to:

  • live on the area
  • access the area for traditional purposes, like camping or to do ceremonies
  • visit and protect important places and sites
  • hunt, fish and gather food or traditional resources like water, wood and ochre
  • teach law and custom on country.

In some cases, native title includes the right to possess and occupy an area to the exclusion of all others (often called ‘exclusive possession’). This includes the right to control access to, and use of, the area concerned. However, this right can only be recognised over certain parts of Australia, such as unallocated or vacant Crown land and some areas already held by, or for, Indigenous Australians.

This description is from the Native Title Tribunal information pages. See also the Federal Court Introduction to Native Title.

Federal Court and National Native Title Tribunal

The main job of the Tribunal is to help people to resolve native title issues and to make agreements about the use of land.

The Tribunal is not a court and does not decide whether or not native title exists.

The Federal Court conducts court cases to determine if native titele exists and who holds it.

See the information above about Native Title. Details for contacting the Court and Tribunal are an our Indigenous Law for Lawyers page.

aboriginal law native title discrimination

Aboriginal Heritage

The South Australian Government maintain a Register of Aboriginal Sites. This lists both sites and objects.

To be listed they must be of significance according to Aboriginal tradition, archaeology, anthropology or history.

For further information see Law Handbook (S.A.) - Aboriginal Heritage

South Australian Native Title Services

www.nativetitlesa.org

Level 4, 345 King William Street
Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Telephone: (08) 8110 2800
Freecall: 1800 010 360
Fax: (08) 8110 2811

The service assists native title claimants and holders in South Australia to ensure that their native title rights and interests are recognised and protected.


Racial discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin in the following areas:

  • Access to places and facilities
  • Land, housing and other accommodation
  • Provision of goods and services
  • Membership of trade unions and associations
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Superannuation

Some situations are covered by Federal laws - and others are covered by South Australian laws.

See the Equal Opportunity Commission website information on the South Australian system and Know your rights: Racial discrimination and vilification by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Racial hatred and vilification

Racial hatred and vilification laws prevent people from:

  • publicly saying or doing things relating to the race of a person that are likely to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate that person, and,
  • inciting hatred, ridicule, or contempt for a group of people on the basis of their race by threatening physical harm or property harm, or inciting others to so threaten.

For information on racial vilification see:

How do I complain or defend a complaint?

Time limits apply, so you should act quickly seeking legal advice and in making the complaint or responding to it..

Seeking legal advice before doing this, or taking other legal action, is an option depending on the seriousness of the consequences of what has happened.

Which body do I complain to?

The Australian Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunity Commission are very similar in the complaints they handle.

However, there are some differences in what kinds of discrimination they deal with. This page from the EOC website discusses your choices about which body you should complain to.

Whistleblowers’ protection

See the Law Handbook (S.A.) - Whistleblowers for information about when you will protected from discrimination (or penalties) for disclosing information about misconduct by a public body or public officer.

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