After almost a decade, Widjabul Wia-Bal claimants have won Native Title Recognition over a 1,559 square kilometre area. Now they look forward to truth telling, healing and sharing their indigenous identity.
As of Monday December 19, 2022, when the determination was made in Goonellabah, the Widjabul Wia-Bal are recognised in Australian law as the traditional custodians of an area that takes in parts of the Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Tweed and Richmond Valley Local Government Areas.
Applicant Jenny Smith has a background in health and mental wellbeing and says she wants to see Aboriginal identity and cultural practices incorporated into these fields. “Everything from birthing on country to aged care”, she says, “and not just for the Widjabul Wia-Bal but for everyone.”
Jenny lost her 19-year old son to suicide three years ago and feels that this recognition will help young aboriginal men in the future through a stronger connection to their identity.
Hear Jenny talk about the hard fought battle for their traditional lands here.