Date of Submission



Incorporating a significant component of Yarning-based oral history, Big Gubba Business investigates the making of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) from an Aboriginal Australian standpoint. This study examines the dynamics of the global Indigenous resurgence and interrogates the evolution of the Indigenous/UN relationship. First Nations engagement with the UN system and participation at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights are explored in detail. Big Gubba Business also unravels the ongoing self-determination debate and the rise of the CANZUS bloc of resistant States. Having established the political context and surveyed the cultural landscape, this study identifies and analyses the actions and achievements of Indigenous Australian representatives in the drafting, elaboration and eventual adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Big Gubba Business finds that the principal value of the Declaration derives from its role as a rallying point and common cause for First Nations activists and theorists. The legacy of the Declaration project includes the building and embedding of a worldwide network of Indigenous organizations and an enhanced First Peoples political and intellectual presence on the world stage. It is hoped that Big Gubba Business will serve to direct academic attention to this neglected domain of political activity and inform a wider public of the nature and importance of the Indigenous/UN relationship.


Thomas More Law School

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


312 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Law and Business