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A number of organisations are already involved with native title issues in respect of the Wellesley Islands.  Nevertheless the activities of these bodies are often unclear to the actual native title holders of the Wellesley Islands.  It is suggested that the operating structures are simply too remote or too complicated for actual considered involvement of the local population.

This aspect is particularly poignant when it comes to governance of the bodies that are involved, where the actual title holders play at best a marginal role, even when they attain formal positions within these bodies.

The issue comes particularly to the fore where there are disputes about resource allocation.  This then gives rise to questions about dispute resolution and determination of rights and entitlements that spring forth from previously completed legal actions over native title rights.

The issue is primarily a legal one, but with very strong connotations to culture, history and traditional values, in other words, exactly within the purview of an organisation like Junkuri Laka.  It is in that context surprising that Junkuri Laka has not in the past developed more interest and activities in this respect.  In the coming period Junkuri Laka wishes to correct this omission in three different areas, that of governance, research and conflict resolution.  The first issue is better covered under another planned activity (that of governance generally) and this is described under the "governance" tab.

Information and research centre

The strange situation is present where there is on the one hand an enormous amount of information available in respect of native title issues and traditional land rights and allocations, while there is on the other hand very little structured access to this information.  It remains therefore also uncertain whether there actually is the conclusive picture available that is suggested.  Junkuri Laka hopes to address this problem, by categorising and creating access to already available information.


Resolving disputes and uncertainties about allocation of resource entitlements is a logical extension of the research activity described above.  One of the problems with native title is that it leaves individualised rights assessments completely uncertain.  Junkuri Laka has been involved in some investigation, negotiation and dispute resolution around this issue, and it can be clearly seen that this issue will be growing in frequency and importance in the future.

It would certainly not be premature to organise and set in place a structure that can deal with these issues.  While there is a role for a mediation style approach, ultimately this is a rights-based issue in which determination of strict entitlements will prove to be necessary.  If such a structure can be created for the Wellesley Islands, within its own cultural domain, this will greatly assist in the coherence of governance and community strength.