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Son says Aunty Olga's spirit sure to be smiling

The sons of Fraser Coast historian and author Aunty Olga Miller, Glen and Wayne Miller, at the Fraser Island sitting of the Federal Court.
The sons of Fraser Coast historian and author Aunty Olga Miller, Glen and Wayne Miller, at the Fraser Island sitting of the Federal Court. Jocelyn Watts

AUNTY Olga Miller's spirit was sure to be smiling over Friday's proceedings, according to her proud son Glen Miller.

"I'm a member of the Wondunna clan and we're in the middle of Wondunna country now," he said.

"Mum filed the first native title claim on Fraser Island 18 years ago and the Butchulla clan filed a year later.

"We've been waiting 18 years for this decision, so it's a pretty historic day.

"As the judge said, it's sad that some of those elders are not here today to share this with us, but I'm sure they're with us in spirit.

"Ever since I was a child and could understand English, Mum talked about the island and what it meant.

"Finally Butchulla people are recognised as traditional owners. I know it's symbolic, but symbolism means a lot to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.

"This decision gives us a foothold on which to go forward.

"Unfortunately the native title claim process is ridiculously lengthy, so to finally get this under such difficult circumstances makes today even more special."

The late Aunty Olga was a well-known Fraser Coast historian, author and artist. Her work is featured in many of the Fraser Coast's public places.

Native title agreement rights

THE Butchulla People's Native Title Consent Determination includes non-exclusive rights to:

  • Access, be present on, move about on and travel over the area
  • Camp, and live temporarily on the area as part of camping, and for that purpose to build temporary shelters
  • Hunt, fish and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes
  • Take, use, share and exchange natural resources from the land and waters for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes
  • Take and use the water for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes
  • Conduct, and participate in, rituals and ceremonies, including those relating to initiation, birth and death
  • Be buried on and bury native title holders within the area
  • Teach the physical, cultural and spiritual attributes of the area
  • Hold meetings on the area
  • Light fires for personal and domestic purposes including cooking, but not for the purpose of hunting or clearing vegetation

Topics:  aboriginal butchulla federal court fraser island native title



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