Mabo Decision, Native Title Act And Wik Judgement For The Land Rights Movement

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Outline the importance of the Mabo Decision, Native Title Act and Wik Judgement for the Land Rights movement (5 marks)
The Land Rights movement aimed to lead Aboriginal people towards regaining access and ownership to their sacred sites and traditional lands that were lost by European settlement. This movement was instigated by Charles Perkins through his Freedom Ride in 1965 and Vincent Lingiari, the elder of the Gurindji people, who promoted the Wave Hill Strike in 1966.
In 1992, Eddie Mabo, on behalf of the Murray Island people, successfully overturned the concept of ‘terra nullius’ in the High Court as they ruled that Australia was occupied at the time of British settlement. In due course, this decision led to the creation of the Native
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This is because all aspects of Aboriginal spirituality and life such as their belief systems, rituals, totemic responsibilities, traditions and laws are rooted in the stories of the Dreaming which are intimately connected with the land. Therefore, the religious and political Land Rights movement that aimed to regain access and ownership to sacred sites and traditional lands was paramount in attempting to re-establish ceremonial life, reconnect the Dreaming and preserve Aboriginal spirituality which was lost as a result of European settlement. Regaining access to sacred sites was especially important so balance rites and rituals could be fulfilled. Aboriginal people believe they are custodians of the land, which is the resting place of ancestral beings and totems which form the foundation of beliefs and traditions, so land rights promoted conservation of their culture and fulfilment of their role. Connection to the Dreaming was, therefore, an inextricable driving force for the Land Rights …show more content…
Due to various waves of immigration such as post-WW2 and refugees, Australia is becoming an increasingly multicultural society with the current demographics showing an increase in religious traditions other than Christianity, for example, Judaism (0.4%), Hinduism (1.9%), Islam (2.6%) and Buddhism (2.4%). Therefore the interfaith dialogue between the different religious traditions that characterise Australian society is paramount as it creates respect, appreciation and understanding between religious traditions which is essential in order to create a greater sense of peace, harmony, racial and religious tolerance in Australian society. For interfaith dialogue, different religions may choose to work together on common projects, have inter-faith prayer services, and stand publicly united on significant issues. For example, following the terrorist attacks on September 11, various interfaith dialogue organisations have been set up, including The Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, who meet with different religious figures to discuss strategies to address and break down the stereotypes and prejudice towards

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