...The reason why I was involved...
In an interview with the filmmaker Trevor Graham, Greg McIntyre recalls the background to his involvement in the case:
'The reason why I was involved, I suppose, was in 1978 when I was working in Perth with the Aboriginal Legal Service I became aware of the fact that the Gove Land Rights case just didn't seem to be right.
'I can't quite remember how I came to that view. I think perhaps I read a few of the commentaries on it, from lawyers like Lester and so on, who'd said this [decision] doesn't necessarily accord with the common law.
'And so I talked with Graham McDonald who was the Principal Legal Officer then and he encouraged me to make an application to the Institute of Aboriginal Studies. I got a $5000 grant to do some research on the topic and got some time off from the Aboriginal Legal Service. I was only working part time on criminal stuff and in the afternoons I went off to University to research it.
'And then, after I spent a year as a community advisor in the desert, I went to Canberra to complete that study and produced a paper on the topic and then ended up in Cairns and presented that paper. I presented it once in Canberra and presented it again at James Cook University at the conference on Race Relations and Land Rights.
'Barbara Hocking was there presenting a paper in the same session, and Koiki was there presenting a paper on Murray Island and connection to land. Flo Kennedy was there, Father Passi presented a paper, Nonie Sharp presented a paper and there was Henry and Garth Nettheim and Al Grassby.
'...So my motivation for doing it I guess started from around 1978 and I happened to run into Koiki who thought that sounded like a good idea and of course Barbara [Hocking]. It was just a coalition of people around at that conference who put it together.'
Keywords: Common Law, conference, Gove Case, Hocking, Barbara, James Cook University, Kennedy, Flo, Land Rights Conference, 1981, Mabo, Edward Koiki, McIntyre, Greg, Nettheim, Garth, Passi, Reverend Dave, Sharp, Dr. Nonie, The Townsville Conference, 1981
Interviewed by Trevor Graham, 1996. Still: Courtesy Barbara Hocking.
Author: Kenna, Jonathan
© Film Australia
Source: McIntyre, Greg