Yule River Walkout: and grand theft of land by design

Ghillar, Michael Anderson explains how his recent travels through the Goldfields, Pilbara and the Kimberley of Western Australia have brought home to him the stark reality and high cost of John Howard's intent behind the Ten Point Plan.

Yule River On-Country Bush Meeting 2017
Yule River On-Country Bush Meeting 2017 (ABC Pilbara)
SU Media Release
Yule River Walkout
Yinthendady, Teddy Biljabu, Martu Lawman, berates the assembled lawyers, YMAC (Yamatji Malpa Aboriginal Corporation) in particular, and those on the government payroll at the Yule River meeting. After the vote of No Confidence the majority of owners of Country walked out. Ben Wyatt MLA, WA Treasurer, Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs and Lands, also left saying: "We have to listen to the people."

Ngaarda Radio Facebook Post

en Wyatt MLA, WA Treasurer, Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs and Lands

Ben Wyatt MLA, WA Treasurer, Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs and Lands (ABC Pilbara)

The recent Yule River Walkout in the Pilbara demonstrates that owners of Country are working out how to challenge the way their Country is being seized and desecrated by deceit and fraud. West Australia mainstream media did not report the Yule River Walkout on 25 July 2019, but a week later local Ngaarda Media shared some of the contentious Yule River meeting on Facebook in an effort to provide some balanced reporting.

Bit by bit our people are finding a way through the maze of Native Title and the land theft of continental proportions.

Local knowledge informs us that over 9000 cultural sites belonging to three tribal groups in the Pilbara have been destroyed through the Native Title processes.

In order to achieve the continuing land theft from First Nations, it was necessary for the Commonwealth government to actually discriminate against the rights of sovereign First Nations Peoples in Australia. If people are prepared to read the Native Title Act in its entirety, you will note that the Act as a whole denies us our fundamental rights, while granting legal authority to the Commonwealth and State governments to forcefully, through their legal system, demand that we forego and surrender all our claims by validating their illegal land tenures and past acts.

Historical records confirm that there has never been a valid act when it comes to granting land ownership throughout Australia to the colonial power. John Howard was wise to this and that is why he created the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) system, which is clearly designed to validate all the illegal colonial past acts and to surrender any future claim, including compensation, for what was taken from us in the first place and what will be taken from us in the future.

Current mining tenements in Pilbara, Western Australia
Current mining tenements in Pilbara, Western Australia
green = live; blue = pending, light blue = current mining operations as at 9/8/2019
Timber Creek mob outside NT Supreme Court
Timber Creek mob outside NT Supreme Court

Timber Creek, Northern Territory
Timber Creek, Northern Territory

Timber Creek Case

Native Title lawyers (and many anthropologists) in this country are complicit in facilitating grand theft of continental proportions and they hide behind the racist Native Title Act by arguing that they have to follow the black letter of the law. They do not clearly explain the full consequences of signing an ILUA. They do not identify how the Law of Tort can be applied and the necessity for compensation when a harm has been committed. The recent Timber Creek Case is an illustration of what we all can do when our rights are impacted upon.

The Timber Creek people were compensated for an aggrieved act of tort where they suffered an injury as a result of an illegal act. Now Galarrwuy Yunupingu has highlighted the importance of the Timber Creek decision at the Garma Festival by announcing that he is initiating action to sue Australia 'over mining project's 'unmerciful' destruction of Indigenous land… Galarrwuy Yunupingu is taking legal action for loss of native title as well as destruction of dreaming sites.' - The Guardian 4 August 2019.

When people decide to read the Native Title Act they will see how this act violates known Human Rights international laws. But no-one wants to know about this because the lawyers keep saying you will need money to fight that case and so we are placed behind the black ball because they control money while our people beg for our daily bread. Our rights are ignored because the lawyers want their money upfront with written guarantees and so social justice and human rights are left behind in the dust along with established precedence in law which is in our favour. The fact that government keeps a tight reign on moneys available for test cases, means bad law remains on the books.

Furthermore, when reading the Native Title Act it is important to do so in conjunction with the actual Mabo judgement of the High Court in 1992.

Panic and fear rippled through the invader society when it was held in the Mabo judgement that there are only three ways by which the Crown could acquire land tenure on First Nations lands. From the outset the three ways were:

  1. The land was terra nullius belonging to no-one. This was the legal fiction that the colony used to setup its power base within Australia. The key word here is fiction and the High Court has ruled in Mabo that Australia was NOT terra nullius.
  2. The second way of acquiring a land title in lands, waters, airspace and natural resources was that our Peoples would have had to cede everything to the power and authority of the invader society's monarch and head of the Crown of Great Britain. We all know that none of our People ceded anything, anywhere in Australia and the Torres Strait.
  3. The third way was that a war was declared and that actual warfare was engaged in between us and the British Redcoats, but no war was ever declared despite the marauding squatter's theft of our lands by murder, which they and the Crown benefited from.
Frontier Wars
Hundreds of organised and vigilante massacres, poisoning of waterholes, distribution of smallpox and other horrendous crimes where no-one was ever punished

When our Peoples fought back and resisted, the British Governors sent in the Redcoats to protect the marauding murdering squatters. This is how our land was seized and, in law, nobody can hide from murder; nobody can benefit from the proceeds of crime and genocidal practices.

And they still want us to validate land title though ILUAs?

In addition to murder, it is on record that waterholes were poisoned and, from the outset, smallpox was spread through blanket distributions in the Sydney basin area and further out. None of these horrendous crimes have ever been punished with one exception - the hanging of white men in Maitland New South Wales for the killing of a clan group of the Gomeroi at Myall Creek.

Given these three methods under international law at the time of acquiring land: terra nullius, cession or declared warfare, the High Court held at paragraph 33:

33. International law recognized conquest, cession, and occupation of territory that was terra nullius as three of the effective ways of acquiring sovereignty. No other way is presently relevant…

Through the British instructions to Phillip and other governors as the colonies expanded it is clear that in New South Wales, like all other States, there was never a declared and written intention to deprive our People of our title to our land and our possessions. Quite the contrary, the Instructions read that the British Governor was to negotiate the acquisition of land for the convenience of expanding the Limit of Location of the colony as it grew.

Another testimony to this fact is the Letters Patent that established the legislatures of South Australia and the Northern Territory on 19 February 1836 and signed by King William IV:

Provided Always that nothing in those our Letters Patent contained shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation or enjoyment in their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands therein now actually occupied or enjoyed by such Natives

Then there is the fact that the 1889 the Western Australia Constitution included section 70, which read:

1889 Western Australia Constitution included section 70

Two men from Western Australia in the early 1890s, representing the Western Australia parliament, begged the Lord Chamberlain in London to persuade HRH Queen Victoria to authorise the repealing of Section 70 of the Western Australia Constitution. These two representatives were Stephen Monger and John Forrest, the great great uncle of Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest. They convinced the English parliament that they would do a better job looking after the affairs and interests of the First Nations than any outsiders working with First Nations Peoples in the administration of their own affairs independent of the parliament, namely the Aborigines Protection Board.

Sir John Forrest - infamous for defending neck-chains and other gross abuses towards First Nations people

It therefore follows that there was never a written intent by the monarch and the parliament of England at the time of 'settlement' to ever deprive us of our rights and interests in our lands. Long before the 1890s, King William IV understood the damage that was being done to our people in this country and to this end he instructed the British Parliament that reparation by the British is mandatory no matter how long it takes:

The necessity for justice through reparation for the 'Native Inhabitants' was confirmed by King William IV's Instructions in 1825, as recorded in the introduction to the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Tribes (British Settlements), which was 'appointed to consider what Measures ought to be adopted with regard to the NATIVE INHABITANTS of the Colonies where BRITISH SETTLEMENTS are made, and to the neighbouring Tribes, in order to secure to them the due observance of Justice, and the protection of their Rights':

'The case of these people has not been wholly overlooked at home. In 1825 His Majesty issued instructions to the Governor to the effect that they should be protected in the enjoyment of their possessions, preserved from violence and injustice, … we must still express our conviction that if we are ever able to make atonement to the remnant of this people, it will require no slight attention, and no ordinary sacrifices on our part to compensate the evil association which we have inflicted; but even hopelessness of making reparation for what is past would not in any way lessen our obligation to stop, as far as in us lies, the continuance of iniquity.'

[Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aborigines (British Settlements) with the Minutes of Evidence, Appendix and Index. Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 26 June 1837. Imperial Blue Book, 1837 nr VII. 425, p.11.]

The Instructions of William IV continue to fall on deaf ears coupled with wilful blindness. When the late Ron Castan QC, the sell-out Magnificent Seven and the 'B' team and the Keating government's legislative largesse wrote the Native Title Act, our rights were fraudulently denied by creating a legislative regime that was underpinned by acts of racial discrimination and by the prejudiced mindset of the Commonwealth of Australia and its member colonial States.

The colonialist squatter regimes continued to control the parliaments. By doing this they continually perpetrated the offences King William IV committed Britain in 1825 to bring an end and to reparate for.

The fear of reparation and just terms compensation for seized lands, underscores how the States had prepared themselves for the coming battle for Land Rights in the 1970s. Take New South Wales for instance, when the High Court made its ruling in Mabo (No. 2), I have questioned why the Court did not make any reference to the changes in land law by such states as New South Wales.

In 1970 New South Wales amended the Real Property Act and in doing so legislated to replace the Crown's Coat of Arms and the Seal of the Crown from the New South Wales legislation and inserted the New South Wales Coat of Arms and installed the Common Seal of New South Wales, authorising all real property and land titles, which had been previously colonial without any legal validity as their claim was based on a false premise as was defined in Mabo No. 2. It should be noted that we need to find out if HRH Elizabeth II exercised her prerogative powers to grant and legalise the NSW Coat of Arms and the State's Common Seal.

Kangaroo and Emu shield of the Commonwealth
The Kangaroo and Emu shield of the Commonwealth is only a registered trade mark and not a Coat of Arms.
A Lawman pointed to the symbols above the Speaker's Chair in Canberra's Old Parliament House and said, "They can't win because the Emu and Kangaroo can't walk backwards, so they are trapped between our ancient Law."

I do know from my visits to England that no Court of Chivalry had been engaged to approve any Australian Coats of Arms. The Kangaroo and Emu shield of the Commonwealth is only a registered trade mark and not a Coat of Arms registered with the Court of Chivalry in London. Given this fact, the Emu and Kangaroo represent the First Nations' continental common law of this County not the colonial common law. The only thing in this trade mark that belongs to the colonies is the shield that is stuck between the Emu and Kangaroo, thus making it subordinate. At a Gathering of Nations we held in the old House of Representatives in Canberra, a Lawman pointed to the symbols above the Speaker's Chair: "They can't win because the Emu and Kangaroo can't walk backwards, so they are trapped between our ancient Law."

There is no one in this country who can ever legitimately argue that the Crown declared its intention to take ALL our land and possessions. The historical records confirm this fact. It is the modern-day parliaments which continually fabricate the historical data and thereby misrepresent and try to conceal the illegal practices.

ative Title wasn't written or explained orally in peoples own languages
PM John Howard with Native Title
Native Title wasn't written or explained orally in peoples own languages, everything was in English. Lawyers for Native Title just tell our people that Native Title is a 'good deal'.

It is NEVER too late in the day to correct an injustice of this magnitude, a fact that the governments of Australia continually hide from its public. We cannot allow expedient notions of 'reconciliation', 'constitutional recognition' and quasi agreements dressed up as 'treaties' to override the need for proper justice and reparation as King William IV foresaw.

All I say to those pushing for these expedient programs to take place is just simply: Roll over, assimilate and shut up. You have your jobs and higher purchase contracts and mortgages. Let us at the grassroots fight the fight and don't get in our way.

This all leads to some very serious questions that have to be addressed, namely the role ILUAs play in further dispossessing our Peoples. The seriousness of these unanswered questions has raised its head in a recent meeting between common law Native Title holders and the Land Council responsible for the carriage of Native Title claims. When a meeting was convened by the Land Council before the finalisation of a determination of a Native Title claim by an Indigenous Land Use Agreement over certain blocks of land in a town. What was being asked of the common law land holders was for them to validate the exclusion of five blocks of land from the Native Title claim itself, through an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The common law holders asked the question:

What does validation mean?

To which a lawyer responded:

"Those blocks of land were excluded from your Native Title claim because the government said that they were lands reserved under the Schedule in the Native Title Act."

The question that came back from the land owners was:

"If the Government excluded these blocks because the government had some legitimate claim over them, why then are you asking us to validate their exclusion and surrender them, for which you are offering a small settlement fee? Does this mean they are telling us lies about these blocks of land and now they want to give us money if we validate the Crown's right to these blocks."

The 'independent' mediator's response was:

"Well if you don't agree to this Indigenous Land Use Agreement then the judge could quash this claim and throw it out."

To which the people responded by saying:

"How can a judge blackmail us like this? Aren't you fellas here to protect our rights?"

Then another question was asked:

"Anyway, who decides on the value of these blocks? Is it the government or a legitimate real estate agent?"

The response was:

"No, the Land Council made an arbitrary decision of how much you should be offered."

These blocks of land were excluded from the Native Title determination because the government had placed a reservation over them and now they were being undervalued. As the people said:

"Well if we own these town blocks, tell them to keep their money and give us back the land. Why should we surrender it for a tiny sum of money?"

This is the type of coercion and corruption that is happening right throughout this Country during the Native Title processes.

Now I'm being asked by many First Nations Peoples, who were forced to accept Native Title determinations without independent legal advice, to review the Native Title claims which have Indigenous Land Use Agreements attached to them.

A recent meeting at Wiluna in Western Australia revealed that the desert land owners were asked to sign for a Native Title determination through an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, as well as Indigenous Land Use Agreements with mining companies like BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metal Group (FMG).

When I asked: "Were they good deals?"

They said: "We don't know, but they told us we would get money, but we got nothing."

I then asked: "Did they read the agreement to you? Did they translate it?"

"No, they just told us what rights it would give the mining company and we would get something."

Nothing was written or explained orally in their own language, their mother tongue. Everything was in English. They explained that the lawyers for the Native Title organisation just said this is a good deal.

"But we really don't know what rights we gave away and what we will get out of it now and in the future."

The lawyers said: "We are there looking after your interests."

$500000 squandered by Rep Body on one meeting - Teddy Biljabu
Also on Vimeo

But then the Native Title Services spend between $300 000 and $500 000 on a one-day meeting (often not even a full day) and are using up money belonging to the owners of Country.

This is the type of corruption that pervades the Native Title processes and it is NEVER too late to review and cancel contracts, if the main applicant parties were never fully briefed of their rights and what the agreement truly meant in terms of impacting on their rights and interests.

I am now being asked: "How does the Sovereignty of our Law and culture make us powerful and how does or Law and culture sit above the colonial law, if they never got land title properly in the first place? This Native Title is more lies and trickery. We want to put an end to all of this and secure our right of veto under our Law and culture."

As the desert people said: "If you want to talk to us about Treaty, then talk to us about ending the war and deceit first. Only then might we talk about sharing our Country."

The Senior Lawmen then asked me: "We need your mob in the east to start singing up Country to restore the balance of our Law and culture. Our power is in our Songlines, not in trying to be a whiteman. We are still singing in the centre and the west, but we need the strong balance from the east to return."

Ghillar, Michael AndersonContact: Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor of the Sovereign Union,
Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
Contact Details here