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Ms Diana Anderssen

PhD scholar

BA (The Australian National University)
LLB (The University of Queensland)
LLM (Queensland University of Technology)

Topic or working title

‘The construct of Native Title in Australian law: A conceptual analysis.’

Abstract or summary

The objective of this project is to analyse the conceptual basis for the construct of native title in Australian law. The inquiry will examine the law relating to the content or nature of native title and native title rights in Australia. The development of the law will be mapped to the history of legal, social and political theories. Tools from contemporary critical theories of race and colonialism will be used to deconstruct the law and situate its philosophical underpinnings in their historical, social and political context. It is anticipated that the study will conclude that the construct of native title in Australian law today reflects a state of continuing colonialism, by demonstrating that the law reflects colonial, rather than indigenous, concepts of law, society and land ownership.

Panel members and positions

Primary Supervisor and Panel Chair:
Professor Mick Dodson, Director of NCIS and Professor at the ANU College of Law.


  • Dr Asmi Wood, Senior Research Fellow & HDR Program Manager, NCIS.
  • Dr Lisa Strelein, Director of the Native Title Research Unit at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies and Adjunct Scholar at NCIS.


Diana holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from The University of Queensland. She was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1991. Diana worked as a lecturer in law at James Cook University from 1997 to 2005. In 2004, she was awarded both the Faculty Award and the JCU Vice-Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was nominated for an Australian Award for University Teaching, 2004.

Diana's research interests include native title law, Indigenous Australians and the law, jurisprudence and contemporary legal theory, feminist legal theory, and legal education.


  • D. Henriss-Anderssen (2000) ‘Mandatory sentencing: The Failure of the Australian Legal System to protect the Human Rights of Australians’ 7 James Cook University Law Review 235.
  • D. Henriss-Anderssen (2002) ‘Teaching Legal Ethics to First Year Law Students’ 13 (1) Legal Education Review 45
  • D. Henriss-Anderssen (2002) ‘The Stolen Generation in Queensland: A Critical Perspective’ 11 (2) Griffith Law Review 286.
  • D. Henriss-Anderssen (2002) ‘Case Note: Members of the Yorta Yorta Community v Victoria [2002] HCA 58’ James Cook University Law Review 10.
  • D. Henriss-Anderssen (2003-2004) ‘Using Interactive Teaching Strategies in Large Lectures: Some Personal Reflections‘ 14 Legal Education Review 181.

Updated:  13 January 2017/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer