The Republic of Murrawarri and the Debate on Aboriginal Sovereignty in Australia

Gabriele Abbondanza

Abstract


The dual objective of this paper is to identify the impact of the proclamation of the Republic of Murrawarri, along with a legal and political analysis examining the demand for greater Aboriginal sovereignty, an ever-increasing subject of debate in Australia.

A brief legal, territorial, media, historical and political review was undertaken to investigate the impact of the Murrawarri Republic, while the admissibility of Aboriginal sovereignty was assessed through a legal and political analysis of relevant pros and cons, with both Australian and international sources.

The impact of the Republic of Murrawarri has been significant from both a media and a political perspective, despite the fact that a territorial analysis has shown that its true area is less than one third of what is officially claimed. The legal and political analysis produced no legal impediments to broader Aboriginal sovereignty in Australia.

The proclamation of the Republic of Murrawarri is currently exerting a significant influence over similar contexts in Australia, while the implementation of both Aboriginal constitutional recognition and a set of treaties between the Australian governments and the Aboriginal peoples is feasible and desirable, in order to achieve true reconciliation between Indigenous Australians and other Australians.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Richard Gillespie, Dating the first Australians, Radiocarbon, vol. 44, no. 2 (2002), pp. 455-472

1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002 (Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002), online: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/bfc28642d31c215cca256b350010b3f4!OpenDocument

Gerhard Leitner, Australia's Many Voices: Australian English - the National Language (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2004), p. 63

Noel George Butlin, Our Original Aggression: Aboriginal Populations of South-Eastern Australia, 1788 1850 (Crows Nest, 1983)

1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 200910, (Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010), online: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/415B7843ACA11A17CA25773700169C5F?opendocument

Gregory Cowan, Collapsing Australian architecture: The aboriginal tent embassy, Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 25, no. 67 (2001), pp. 30-36

Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Australias Aborigines Launch a Bold Legal Push for Independence, in Time, 30 May 2013, online: http://world.time.com/2013/05/30/australias-aborigines-launch-a-bold-legal-push-for-independence

Russell McGregor, Imagined destinies: Aboriginal Australians and the doomed race theory, 1880-1939 (Melbourne, 1997)

Russell McGregor, Protest and progress: Aboriginal activism in the 1930s, Australian Historical Studies, vol. 25, no. 101 (1993), pp. 555-568

Russell McGregor, Another nation: Aboriginal activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Australian Historical Studies, vol. 40, no. 3 (2009), pp. 343-360

Ian D. Clark, Aboriginal languages and clans: an historical atlas of western and central Victoria, 1800-1900 (Clayton: Monash University Publishing, 1990)

Ian D. Clark, 'That's My Country, Belonging to Me': Aboriginal land tenure and dispossession in nineteenth century Western Victoria (Ballarat: Ballarat Heritage Services, 2003)

Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal Sovereignty: Reflections on Race, State, and Nation (Crows Nest, 1996)

Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Sovereign subjects: Indigenous sovereignty matters (Crows Nest, 2007)

Aileen Moreton-Robinson, I still call Australia home: Indigenous belonging and place in a white postcolonising society, in S. Ahmed et al., ed, Uprootings/regroundings: questions of home and migration (Oxford, 2003), pp. 23-40

Michael Anderson, Background Evidence to Support a Declaration of Aboriginal Sovereignty, The Carrington Rand Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1 (2014), pp. 1-11

Sean Brennan, Brenda Gunn and George Williams, Sovereignty and its Relevance to Treaty-Making Between Indigenous Peoples and Australian Governments, Sydney Law Review, vol. 26, no. 3 (2004), pp. 307-352

Milirrpum v Nabalco (1971), 17 FLR 141

Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992), 175 CLR 1

Coe v The Commonwealth (1993), 118 ALR 193

Clark, 'That's My Country, Belonging to Me': Aboriginal land tenure and dispossession in nineteenth century Western Victoria

For more information, see the website of the National Native Title Tribunal: http://www.nntt.gov.au/Pages/Statistics.aspx

Lisa Strelein, Compromised Jurisprudence: Native Title Cases Since Mabo (Canberra, 2009), p. ix

Denis Gregory, The man who's creating a United States of Australia, The Sun-Herald, 11 May 2003, online: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/10/1052280480600.html

The Declaration Of The Continuance Of The State Of Murrawarri Nation (Murrawarri Republic) (Barringun: Murrawarri Provisional Council of State, 2013), online: http://kyliegibbon4.wix.com/murrawarri-republic#!declaration-of-statehood/c2gy

Official geographic coordinates, listed in the website of the Murrawarri Council, are Northwest: latitude -28 9' 29'' longitude 145 52' 11'' (QLD) and South: latitude -30 24' 14'' longitude 145 20' 51'' (NSW). Northeastern coordinate was obtained by locating the junction of the Bokhara river and Birrie river, as stated by Murrawarris Council, which is at latitude -29 3' 12'' longitude 147 29' 32'' (NSW). Vincentys Inverse Formula was then applied with the aid of Geoscience Australias online software (http://www.ga.gov.au/geodesy/datums/vincenty_inverse.jsp), while Herons Formula [

Fabrizio Maronta, Murrawarri, un nuovo Stato e un vecchio problema per l'Australia, Limes, 15 May 2013, online: http://www.limesonline.com/murrawarri-un-nuovo-stato-e-un-vecchio-problema-per-laustralia/46960

Neubauer, Australias Aborigines Launch a Bold Legal Push for Independence

Jeremy Geia, Murrawarri people take sovereignty campaign to UN, SBS News, 12 May 2013, online: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/05/12/murrawarri-people-take-sovereignty-campaign-un

Draft Constitution of the Murrawarri Republic (Barringun: Murrawarri Provisional Council of State, 2013), online: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/murrawarri-republic-declaration, part I, no. 3 and part II, no. 1

Murrawarris partial map can be seen here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zIUHUDMOD15U.kZqQJ9QCtrbQ

For further information, see the official website of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia: http://www.nationalunitygovernment.org

Debra Jopson, Boomerang republic One man's struggle to restart his country, SBS, 20 December 2015, online: http://www.sbs.com.au/feature/boomerang-republic

Maria M. Brandl and Michael Walsh, Speakers of many tongues: toward understanding multilingualism among Aboriginal Australians, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, vol. 9, no. 4 (1982), pp. 71-81

Kenbi land handover a day of celebrations (Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2016), online: https://www.dpmc.gov.au/news-centre/indigenous-affairs/kenbi-land-handover-day-celebrations

Anderson, Background Evidence to Support a Declaration of Aboriginal Sovereignty

Ibidem

From Latin cogent law

Charter of the United Nations (New York, 1945), chapter I, article 1, co. 2

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (New York, 1948), article 15, co. 2

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (New York, 1966), part I, article 1, co. 1

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (New York, 1966), part I, article 1, co. 1

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (New York, 2007), articles 3 and 4

Keith L. Shimko, International Relations: Perspectives, Controversies and Readings (Boston, 2015), pp. 64-65

Brennan, Gunn and Williams, Sovereignty and its Relevance to Treaty-Making Between Indigenous Peoples and Australian Governments

Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (London, Parliament of the United Kingdom, 1982), part II, s. 35, 1, co. 4

David Milward, Aboriginal Justice and the Charter: Realizing a Culturally Sensitive Interpretation of Legal Rights (Vancouver, 2012), p. ix

The Constitution of the United States of America (Philadelphia Convention, 1787), article 1, s. 8

Authors own work

Tom Campbell, Jeffrey Goldsworthy and Adrienne Stone, Protecting Rights Without a Bill of Rights: Institutional Performance and Reform in Australia (Farnham: 2006), pp. 182-184

Clemence Due and Damien Wayne Riggs, Representing Australian Land: Mainstream Media Reporting of Native Title, International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, vol. 3, no. 1 (2010), pp. 26-36

Elizabeth Strakosch, Contemporary Indigenous Affairs: Seeking the Radical Centre, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 59, no. 4 (2013), pp. 593-604

Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap and Edwina Howell, The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State (London, 2013), ch. 13

George Williams, Does constitutional recognition negate Aboriginal sovereignty?, Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 3 (2012), pp. 10-11

Brennan, Gunn and Williams, Sovereignty and its Relevance to Treaty-Making Between Indigenous Peoples and Australian Governments

Gabriele Abbondanza, The Geopolitics of Australia in the New Millennium: The Asia-Pacific Context (Rome: Aracne, 2013), pp. 106-111

Gabriele Abbondanza, Breve storia della Questione Aborigena, InStoria, vol. 111, no. 80 (2014)


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.