The Southern Goldfields Ngadju people are celebrating one of the most significant native title judgments in decades that could spearhead further claims in the Goldfields.
The Federal Court found on December 21 the Ngadju hold native title over an area of land that includes the towns of Balladonia, Norseman and Caiguna, and runs 600km east-west and 300km north-south.
While the decision relates only to the question of connection with land and does not award native title, it represents a crucial step in the claim lodged by elder John Walter Graham on behalf of the Ngadju in 1998.
A Goldfields Land and Sea Council lawyer involved in the case, Mark Muller, said it was the first successful judgment in the region.
He said, in the context of the claim, the question of connection was â€œthe biggest aspectâ€