Yaegl elder Aunty Lillian Williams, who said she had checked out of hospital the day before, gave the welcome to country last week, before Justice Jayne Jagot handed down her orders.
She reflected on the cultural significance of the Yaegl tribal lands, saying, in part: “Our ancestors that went on before us … they led the way for us, the Yaegl people … hunting, food gathering, handed down from generation to generation.
“[This] is the day we have been waiting for, for a long time.
“I want to welcome you all from the bottom of my heart.
“…We were taught to love one another … we share that with each other. Don’t walk away from your tribal people, your bloodline.
“One thing I’d like to say today, all enjoy yourself, we’re going to have a beautiful day.
“…We have to respect one another’s country … they have to respect our land and we’ve got to respect their land, that’s what it’s all about, respect, loving and caring.
“Thank you one and all from the bottom of my heart.
“When in Yaegl Country, look after it and it will look after you.”