Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, Griffith University

Agreement making is the dominant form of engagement between Aboriginal Australia and the ever-expanding mining, oil and gas industries. The nature of that engagement has implications for Aboriginal cultural values and cultural heritage at a number of levels: the legislative framework within which agreement making occurs, in particular the Commonwealth Native Title Act; the processes used in preparing for and conducting negotiations, which can either undermine or reinforce Aboriginal cultural values; the ‘strategic terrain’ of negotiations, where Aboriginal control over cultural heritage can be used to defend or enhance Aboriginal negotiating positions; and individual agreement provisions that deal specifically with cultural heritage and cultural values.

In this seminar Professor O’Faircheallaigh identifies issues that Aboriginal peoples and their advisers face at each of these levels, highlighting the diversity in approaches and outcomes currently emerging across Aboriginal Australia.

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