Aboriginal land claims and native title

Graham's experience with Aboriginal land claims commenced in 1978 when he was counsel assisting the first Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Justice Toohey. He has appeared in numerous land claims in various capacities including as counsel assisting (Warlpiri; Ayers Rock; Utopia; Alyarrawa; Kaytej; Walmanpa; Willowra; Milingimbi Sea Closure), counsel for Aboriginal applicants (Nicholson River/Waanyi), the Northern Territory Government ( Finniss River; Daly River; Katherine River/Jawoyn; Warramungu; Lake Amadeus), the Commonwealth (Alligator Rivers; Kenbi), mining interests (McArthur River) and others. He has also appeared in numerous appeals and judicial reviews of decisions in such claims.

He was Chairman of the Community Living Areas Tribunal (a tribunal set up to make recommendations regarding excisions from Northern Territory pastoral leases for the purpose of community living areas for Aboriginal residents) from 1990 to 1998.

Since moving to Brisbane in 1994 his practice has focused upon land claims and native title, his clients including Aboriginal claimants (the Thayorre Peoples in Wik; Birthday Mountain; Malak Malak; Butchulla; Waanyi; Quandamooka), governments (Lardil; Spinifex; Muagal; Kalkadoon; Gungarri; Erubam Le; Kooma; Wangkamurra; Torres Strait Sea Claim), commercial fishing and related interests (Yamirr; Wandarang; Lardil; Banjalang; Gumuna; Rubibi ); recreational & irrigation interests (Yorta Yorta), pastoralists (Western Yalanji/Pedersen; Ward/WAPGA; Koa/Kennedy;Daniel/WAPGA; Newcastle Waters/ NTCA), miners (Dieri/WMC; Powder /Marlborough Nickel; Gunai/Kunai/Yallourn Energy; Gangoulu/South Blackwater Coal; Wongatha/WMC; De Lacey; ERA), gas companies (QGC), local government ( Larrakia/DCC) and other interests.

He has been the Editor of Native Title News (Butterworths) since 1997. His other publications which relate to land rights and native title include Aboriginal Land Rights in the Northern Territory (1985) AMPLA Year Book 491; Aboriginal Land Claim Litigation (1987) Australian Bar Review 187; and Native Title Litigation (1996) 26 QLSJ 307. He edited The Wik Case: Issues and Implications (Butterworths, 1997). He conducted the Native Title Claims Resolution Review established by the Attorney-General in 2006. He is on the Federal Court's list of mediators for native title matters.