Upstreamers & downstreamers: Promoting investment in First Peoples through the creation of exclusive rights

Join Dr Virginia Marshall, the ANU inaugural Indigenous Post-Doctoral Fellow for the ANU Reconciliation Week Lecture, ‘Upstreamers &downstreamers: Promoting investment in First Peoples through the creation of exclusive rights’.

Dr Marshall will discuss her journey of researching her doctorate in law, which commenced during the drought of the Millennium and where Aboriginal water needs were barely mentioned. In contrast, the interests of stakeholder groups, both upstream and downstream, captured the media’s attention. She will discuss how Australian society has failed to recognise First Peoples water rights and interests which span thousands of generations of Aboriginal laws, habitation, scientific observations, adaption and resilience.

In a ‘web’ of relationships, where water is inseparable from land, and underpinned through traditional and revitalised Aboriginal knowledge systems, the question is: Are Australia’s frameworks, laws and policies robust enough to ensure Aboriginal communities can exercise cultural and economic control in light of the principles of self-determination?

About the speaker

Dr Virginia Marshall is the Inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow with the Australian National University’s School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and the Fenner School of Environment and Society. She is a practising lawyer and duty solicitor, a former associate & researcher with the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney and professional member of the NSW Law Society and Women Lawyers Association of NSW. Former Senior Legal Officer of the Australian Law Reform Commission and inquiry into ‘Family Violence & Commonwealth Laws: Improving Legal Frameworks’ (ALRC 117), Executive Officer of the NSW Government’s ‘Aboriginal Water Trust’ and criminal defence lawyer with NSW Legal Aid.