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Crown Hill handback: small but significant

Posted: Wed, July 18, 2012

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jenny macklin hands title to the traditional owners of Crown Hill in the NT

Anmatyerr and Warlpiri families are celebrating the return of Crown Hill (Irrinjirrinjirri/ Warinjirrinjirri) after 26 years of waiting.

In accordance with section 50(1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Howard Olney recognised the Anmatyerr and Warlpirri traditional owners of Crown Hill (Irrinjirrinjirri/Warinjirrinjirri) and recommended that the land be granted under sections 11 and 12 of the Land Rights Act.

The application was made on 23 April 1986 by the Central Land Council (the CLC) on behalf of Anmatyerr and Warlpiri traditional Aboriginal owners of the Crown Hill area which comprises an area of 26.25 hectares between the Mount Denison, Mount Allan and Coniston pastoral stations.

CLC Director, David Ross congratulated the traditional owners for their patience and acknowledged that although the area may seem insignificant in size, the cultural value is substantial.

“Crown Hill is basically squeezed between two pastoral stations but stands tall in local traditional law and it’s now finally realised in contemporary Australian law.”

Justice Olney also acknowledged the significance of the claim area to the traditional owners. “The history of claims made by the claimant group in respect of the small areas of their traditional country that have been available to be claimed is evidence of a strong traditional attachment to that land,” he said.