Author(s): Virginia Marshall
Overturning aqua nullius aims to cultivate a new understanding of Aboriginal water rights and interests in the context of Aboriginal water concepts and water policy development in Australia. In this award-winning work, Dr Marshall argues that Aboriginal water rights require legal recognition as property rights, and that water access and water infrastructure are integral to successful economic enterprise in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal peoples' social, cultural and economic certainty rests on their right to control and manage customary water. Drawing on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Marshall argues that the reservation of Aboriginal water rights needs to be prioritised above the water rights and interests of other groups.
Virginia Marshall is a Wiradjuri Nyemba woman who commenced legal practice in 2003. In 2005 she became an Executive Officer leading the Aboriginal Water Trust and was a member of the inaugural Indigenous Water Summit established by the National Water Commission. Since 2013 she has been the Principal Solicitor of Triple BL Legal specialising in intellectual property and traditional knowledge and commercial and contracts law. Marshall was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate from Macquarie University with a PhD in Law. For over a decade she has been an active member of the Law Society of NSW for whom she has written and taught in criminal, environmental law and conveyancing practice.