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Through native title and other mechanisms, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are again becoming custodians of their traditional land and water estates. A common aspiration for Indigenous peoples in regaining rights, access and title to country is to create livelihoods and prosperous, resilient communities based on the use of their natural and cultural resources. However, much of the Indigenous estate is in regional and remote areas where conventional employment and economic opportunities are limited. Accordingly, developing successful livelihoods on Indigenous lands and seas requires innovative thinking that combines traditional and contemporary skills and knowledge.
At the 2015 National Native Title Conference, several Indigenous communities from around Australia were invited to talk about how they are implementing their rights and interests following the restitution of their land and sea territories via, for example, collaborative management, native title and other land rights legislation. The workshop used the ‘world café’ approach, with the various presenters distributed at ‘speaker stations’ around the room. While this approach allowed for small groups to interact with the speakers, who showcased practical examples of Indigenous leadership in the development of their traditional estates, recording each speaker proved to be difficult as presentations comprised of repeated speed talks. This report is therefore based on the concluding session of the workshop where participants were asked to reflect on four key questions:
- What were the opportunities that each initiative presented?
- What were the perceived challenges or complexities of each initiative?
- Why do you think the initiative was successful?
- How useful would each initiative be for other Indigenous communities?