• Roebourne region, Western Australia (Flickr)Source: Flickr
After a seven-year battle the Ngarluma people’s native title rights are finally recognised.
Andrea Booth

22 Dec 2015 - 10:48 AM  UPDATED 22 Dec 2015 - 11:08 AM

More of the Ngarluma people's land was legally recognised at the Federal Court on Monday, after they lodged an application in 2008.

An area of 21.5 square kilometres encompassing Wickham, Point Samson and Karratha in the Roebourne Shire in Western Australia was excluded from the Ngarluma determination in 2005. But on Monday, Justice McKerracher determined the Ngarluma people’s non-exclusive rights to this region.

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Simon Hawkins, the CEO of the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, the representative body for native title claims in Pilbara, Murchison and Gascoyne, said the decision was a long time coming.

"After seven years, the towns of Wickham, Point Samson, and Karratha have been recognised as Ngarluma Country, something the Ngarluma people have always known," he said.

Ngarluma country is home to many sacred sites such as mythological places and ancient stone engravings.

The Ngarluma people's connection to these areas forms an integral part of their spirituality.

This native title determination means that the Commonwealth of Australia's legal system recognises the Ngarluma people as the traditional owners and that they had their own legal system and customs on their land before the arrival of Europeans.