Injarnyala Aboriginal Corporation
The Injarnyala Aboriginal Corporation holds and manages the native title rights and interests recognised ove Croker Island on behalf of its traditional owners. Indigenous ownership of the seas and sea bed around Croker Island was recognised in the Croker Island determination of January 2002.
This determination arose from an initial claim of native title in 1994 made by Mary Yarmirr on behalf of the Yuwurruma members of the Mandilarri-Ildugij, Mangalara, Murran, Gadura-Minaga, and Ngaynjaharr clans. The claim area included approximately 3,300 SqKm around Croker Island.
This claim was a test case for whether native title can grant rights to the sea and sea bed. It was litigated in both the Federal and High Courts.
Both courts found that native title exists in the entire claim area. These native title rights granted non-exclusive possession, use and occupation of the seas and seabed. They held that the common law could not recognise exclusive native title in seas, however, because this would be inconsistent with:
- common law’s public rights to fish and navigate, and
- international law’s right of innocent passage.