Land won back

In the CLC region, which covers the the southern half of the Northern Territory, just under half of the land- 385,000 square kilometres - is Aboriginal land. Aboriginal land is private property owned under special freehold title. It is inalienable – it can’t be bought, acquired or forfeited.

Land is formally held by an Aboriginal Land Trust.

Aboriginal people have affinity with particular areas of land. Unlike the European view of land, most Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory gain their identity from their country, not someone else's land.

Unlike Western ideas of land, one 'block' can't be exchanged for another.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta handback in 1985 was a landmark moment in Land Rights history, especially since it became the first time that Aboriginal people in central Australia would jointly manage their traditional lands with the commonwealth government through the Australian Parks and Wildlife Service.

Another significant point in Land Rights history is the saga over the Warramungu land claim. It was one of the longest and hardest-fought claims in the history of land rights with the ten year battle for recognition beginning in 1978. Court challenges from the NT Government meant the land claim wasn't heard until 1985.

Justice Michael Maurice recommended the return of a large part of the claim in July 1988 – ten years after the claim was lodged.

It was another three years before any part of the land was handed back and five years before most was returned.

Some stories from Land Rights News about the struggles by traditional owners to win back their land: