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  • jshaw047


In 2023 after a successful appeal in the Full Federal Court to dismiss native title granted to the Walka Wani over the Oodnadatta area, the Arabana Named Applicants, Aaron Stuart, Joanne Warren, Greg Warren Snr and Peter Watts, took their claim on behalf of all Arabana People for native title over Oodnadatta to the High Court of Australia. 


Anyone who wants to appeal to the High Court has to apply to get permission from the High Court to get into the High Court and run an appeal.  This is called special leave. The Named Applicants filed a special leave application in late 2023. 


It is extremely rare to get special leave as the High Court only considers appeals in a small number of cases.  Only about 1 in 10 special leave applications are successful.


On 8 February 2024 the High Court granted the Arabana Named Applicants special leave to appeal. 


This is a significant win because it means the Arabana Named Applicants can argue their appeal before the High Court.


The Named Applicants are asking the High Court to find that there were errors in the decision to dismiss the Arabana claim in the Federal Court, that the Arabana appeal should be allowed, and that the matter should be remitted to a Federal Court Judge for further submissions about why Arabana should get native title over Oodnadatta which was found at trial to be Arabana Country at sovereignty.


The High Court hasn’t set a hearing date for the appeal yet.


Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the finding by Justice White in the first instance on 21 December 2021 after the trial of the fact that Oodnadatta was Arabana Country at sovereignty (before white people came) was not challenged by any appeal and still stands. We know that this is Arabana Country, and under our laws always has been Arabana Country, and will continue to be Arabana Country.

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