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Nicole Watson


Nicole Watson is a member of the Birri-Gubba People and the Yugambeh language group. Nicole has a bachelor of laws from the University of Queensland and a master of laws from the Queensland University of Technology. Nicole was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1999. She has worked for Legal Aid Queensland, the National Native Title Tribunal and the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency. Nicole is also a former editor of the Indigenous Law Bulletin. Nicole's first novel, 'The Boundary' is being released nationally in June 2011.

Image of Nicole Watson
Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
Core Member, Asia-Pacific Centre for Complex Real Property Rights
Core Member, Centre for Strengthening Indigenous Communities - Jumbunna
+61 2 9514 9711

Book Chapters

Sherwood, J., Lighton, S.L. & Watson, N. 2013, 'Peer Rupport: Mentoring Responsive and Trusting Relationships' in Rhonda G. Craven and Janet Mooney (eds), Seeding Success in Indigenous Australian Higher Education, Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, UK, pp. 187-208.
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Conference Papers

Boydell, S., Watson, N., Mangioni, V.J., McMillan, M.D. & Sankaran, S. 2009, 'The Republic and its impact on property rights in Sydney', State of Australian Cities Conference, Perth, Australia, November 2009 in State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference, ed P.J. Maginn, R. Jones, F. Haslim-Mackenzie, B. Boruff et al, SOAC, Perth, Australia, pp. 1-21.
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In 1973, the Federal Commission of Inquiry into Land Tenures identified that `in our modern complex society, an individualistic approach to property rights and land ownership is incompatible with public interest, unless individual rights are restricted to the use and enjoyment of the land+ (Else-Mitchell et al., 1973, p.17). We offer a theoretical inquiry into the institutional arrangements to enable an innovative land restitution model for Sydney within a new Republic, by vesting the superior interest in land (and buildings thereon) in the stewardship of the customary indigenous guardians (rather than the State or Crown). The model analyses leasehold solutions and land tax implications to ensure the continued economic growth of the City of Sydney under such a restitution arrangement.
Boydell, S., Behrendt, L.Y., Goodall, H., Sankaran, S., Watson, N., Mangioni, V.J., McMillan, M.D. & McDermott, M.D. 2008, 'Sydney Restored: Aboriginal ownership of city spaces', Cities Nature Justice: dialogues for social sustainability in public spaces, a UTS Trans/forming cultures symposium, University of Technology, Sydney, December 2008 in Cities Nature Justice: Abstracts, ed Goodall, H., UTS : Trans/forming Cultures, http://www.transforming.cultures.uts.edu.au/news_events/CNJ_abstracts.html, pp. 1-1.
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Challenge Grant output, presented by Nicole Watson This paper explores an irredentist model of justice in the city, one in which Aboriginal title is taken as the superior property interest over Sydney. It reports on a trans-disciplinary UTS funded research initiative investigating the impact on the institutional landscape of a solution that prioritises the human and property rights of the indigenous population. Methodologically, this research adopts what Creswell and Tashakkori (2007) refer to as a paradigm perspective. The approach integrates an eclectic combination of research modes into history, law, social inquiry, theory, practice, and beliefs, with the attitudes of finance, finance providers, capital users and indigenous property owners. Such a dynamic trans-disciplinary engagement demands that the researchers discuss an overarching worldview (or several worldviews) that provide a philosophical foundation for mixed methods research. Building on the role of land in Aboriginal politics, we explore Native title and the interplay with freehold and leasehold models. Our model raises a range of issues for the contemporary commons. as well as conceptions of ownership when long leasehold interests replace freehold titles. Whilst in the short term, we suggest that there is no significant financial impact on those holding the new 99-year tenancies, a range of issues arise in respect of the reversionary interest including rights, obligations, and restrictions surrounding improvements on the land. We also highlight the complexity surrounding land tax and the role of the State in such a model.