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Boonthamurra Native Title Corporation

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Overview

The Boonthamurra Native Title Corporation holds land in trust for the Boonthamurra people of south-west Queensland. The Boonthamurra people’s ownership was recognised in the Boonthamurra People determination. Previously there had been a number of competing land claims in this area, but these were resolved by Queensland South Native Title Services convening the Western Region Land Summit in 2005. This led to the filing of the claim which was the subject of Wallace on behalf of the Boonthamurra People v State of Queensland in 2006.

In making the determination, Justice Mansfield outlined the history of the claim area including the sighting of Aboriginal people in the area by search parties sent to locate the Burke and Wills expedition. His Honour detailed the establishment of European stations on the land and inclusion of Boonthamurra people as an integral component of the station workforce.

Members of the Boonthamurra people continue today to access and camp on the land as a necessary part of acknowledging and observing laws and customs. Strong relationships with the spirits of ancestors residing in the area are manifested through addressing spirits for protection as well as the practice of site avoidance. Relying upon affidavit evidence, Justice Mansfield also made reference to the mutual recognition of neighbouring groups that trespass on Boonthamurra country is a wrongful act and legitimate evidence of the claimant group’s title.

Managed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
AIATSIS acknowledges the funding support of the Native Title Branch of
the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).