Appointment to the National Native Title Tribunal

1 April 2014

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr James McNamara as a member of the National Native Title Tribunal.

Mr McNamara brings to his new role 20 years of legal experience and expertise in native title, land rights, cultural heritage, land administration and land management.

Mr McNamara has advised the Queensland government in relation to native title law and policy since the High Court's founding decision in Mabo No. 2 (1992), and has participated in all subsequent native title reforms. Mr McNamara is admitted to legal practice in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Until recently Mr McNamara was the Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Services in the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Since 2000, Mr McNamara has held a range of positions with responsibility for the administration of State land in Queensland. Under Mr McNamara's leadership, Queensland developed workable practices for land and water dealings which recognise and respect native title, and over 70 native title claims were resolved.

The Tribunal is responsible for a wide range of functions under the Native Title Act 1993, including mediation and arbitration of future act matters, and the registration of claimant applications and Indigenous Land Use Agreements. Mr McNamara's appointment is for five years, based in the Brisbane registry. Mr McNamara takes up the position left vacant by the untimely passing of former Tribunal member Mr Dan O'Dea last year.

The appointment of Mr McNamara demonstrates the high calibre of professionals who work within the native title system.