Aboriginal Australian perspectives on share ownership

David Mullan, Lesa Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The vast majority of studies on Indigenous Australian conceptions of property have focused on real property. As financial capitalism continues to grow, less wealth is being held in real property while a greater level of wealth is being held in abstract financial products. This paper attempts to bring Indigenous Australian concepts of property to bear on the new area of wealth accumulation, the company share and its subsidiary financial products. The paper presents the results of interviews with a number of Indigenous Australians. Narrative research method and discourse analysis have produced unique insight into the ownership of company shares. The results do not present a cohesive narrative, but rather offer a familiar but often overlooked critique of the present Australian system of share ownership. Following these leads, this paper draws out the parallels between the interviewees' critiques and the earlier critiques of Proudhon, Schumpeter and Berle and Means. The result is a clear picture of the shortcomings in the existing theory and taxonomy of shares as a property right. These shortcomings are placed within their human-property relationship and are examined as potential liberators of Australian conceptions of property law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
JournalCanterbury Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Mullan, D., & Parker, L. (2016). Aboriginal Australian perspectives on share ownership. Canterbury Law Review, 22(1), 82-102.