- Native Title Representative Bodies and Service Providers
- Law and Policy
- Training and Employment
- Land Management
- Business Development and Regulation
Native Title Representative Bodies and Service Providers
Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) and Native Title Service Providers (NTSPs) are regional organisations that assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with all aspects of their native title claim, as outlined in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). Functions of NTRBs and NTSPs include: facilitation and assistance; certification; dispute resolution; notification; agreement making; and internal review. The Native Title Representative Bodies and Service Providers website is funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and provides maps and contact details for the regional NTRBs and NTSPs who can provide direct support to PBCs.
The Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) project began in March 2002 as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project. The original aim of the project was to examine treaty and agreement-making with Indigenous Australians and the nature of the cultural, social and legal rights encompassed by past, present and potential agreements and treaties. The ATNS database is an online gateway to a wealth of information relating to agreements between Indigenous people and others in Australia and overseas. The database offers a range of features including background information on each agreement; links to related agreements, organisations, signatories and events; a glossary of relevant terminology as well as direct access to published and online resources. The database includes information about individual native title determinations and agreements that may be of interest and relevance to PBCs.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is a leading institution for information and research on Indigenous societies and culture. AIATSIS holds an extensive collection of printed, audio and visual materials on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history which are accessible through their library and audiovisual archive. Current research areas include: health and wellbeing; education and cultural transmission; language arts and cultural expression; governance and public policy; and land and water. The Native Title Research Unit at AIATSIS was established in 1994 and has been running a PBC Support Project since 2011 to facilitate networking and coordinate the flow of information to PBCs.
The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) is a research centre at the Australian National University (ANU) that focuses on Indigenous economic and social policy research from a national perspective. The centre provides open access to research results and publications that may be of interest and relevance to PBCs.
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (The Harvard Project) is housed within the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA. The project seeks to understand how self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian Nations. Key areas of research are sovereignty, institutions, culture and leadership.
Law and Policy
The Attorney General’s Department (AGD) Native Title Unit assists in the administering of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). AGD informs government policy on native title and provides access to information on native title reforms, alternative state and territory native title regimes, and the future acts regime.
The Australasian Legal Information Institute is a joint facility of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and University of New South Wales (UNSW) Faculties of Law. The site provides free access to Australasian legal materials. Both primary and secondary materials are available including legislation, court judgments, commentaries and summaries of the law. The AUSTLII website includes an Indigenous Law Library containing legislation, court judgements, and publications relevant to native title and PBCs.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) is the key Australian Government department that supports Indigenous Australians through a number of programs and services as well as providing grants and funding to support Indigenous organisations and individuals. FaHCSIA’s land and native title programs and resources include the Native Title Program that supports Indigenous native title claimants or holders through the funding of a network of Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) or other Native Title Service Providers (NTSPs). FaHCSIA also provides a Basic Support Funding program for PBCs. FaHCSIA’s website provides information on proposed amendments to legislation or regulations and reviews of the native title system.
The Federal Court of Australia provides information on native title claims including access to the necessary forms for native title claims. The Federal Court website includes a Native Title Infobase containing Australian material relating to native title and land claims. The website also includes a Native Title Guide that outlines the role of the court, the native title application and determination process and stages, and practical information about who can represent native title claimants.
The National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) is an impartial, independent administrative agency established by the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The NNTT maintains the Register of Native Title Claims, the National Native Title Register (the register of determinations of native title) and the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs). The NNTT website provides an online searchable database of claims, determinations and ILUAs, as well as online access to native title spatial information and data (e.g. maps of native title determinations).
Training and Employment
The Aurora Project (Aurora) aims to strengthen Indigenous organisations by supporting their staff and facilitating opportunities for all Australians to work in these organisations. Aurora offers native title training and professional development programs for staff working at NTRBs and NTSPs with some programs also open to PBCs. Aurora also provides online resources for PBCs including information on Indigenous land use agreements, future acts, free prior and informed consent and decision making, and legal requirements for PBC consultation and decision making.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is responsible for national policies and programs around education and the workplace. DEEWR is responsible for the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP) (effective from 1 July 2013). The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program and the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) along with Job Services Australia (JSA) and the Disability Employment Service (DES) will transition into the RJCP in remote areas. The IEP, JSA and DES will continue to operate in non-remote locations. The RJCP includes: employment and participant activities; the Remote Youth Leadership and Development Corps; the development of Community Action Plans; and the Community Development Fund to help communities build strong social and economic foundations. DEEWR is also responsible for a number of other Indigenous specific education and employment programs, as well as some programs aimed at supporting Indigenous enterprises (e.g. the Indigenous Capital Assistance Scheme; the Social Enterprise and Development Investment Fund).
The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) aims to assist Indigenous Australians in the acquisition and management of land for economic, environmental, social and cultural benefit. The ILC Land Acquisition Program acquires and grants land to Indigenous corporations to achieve Indigenous benefits, as well as providing assistance to protect land with significant cultural or environmental heritage. The ILC Land Management Program assists Indigenous landholders to build their capacity to sustainably manage land and develop viable land uses.
The Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program is run by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (SEWPAC). The IPA program provides funding for Indigenous communities to manage IPAs for conservation as part of Australia's network of protected areas. There are currently over 50 IPAs across Australia, many covering native title lands.
The Working on Country program is run by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (SEWPAC). Working on Country builds on Indigenous traditional knowledge to protect and manage land and sea country through providing funding for Indigenous land and sea managers throughout Australia. More than 680 Indigenous rangers are employed in around 95 ranger teams across Australia to deliver environmental outcomes. It is expected that around 730 rangers will be trained and employed through Working on Country by June 2015.
Business Development and Regulation
Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) promotes self-management, self-sufficiency and economic independence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It provides financial assistance to access business support advice, information, and guidance on business-related matters. For PBCs the Business Development and Assistance Program may provide access to business loans where private financiers are unable or unwilling to assist emerging small businesses.
The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) is an independent statutory office appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). ORIC is responsible for the administration of all PBCs (RNTBCs) under the CATSI Act and has powers to intervene that are similar to those exercised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ORIC provides support to PBCs through corporate governance training programs as well as corporation-specific training tailored to suit the needs of individual PBCs. ORIC maintains a number of different information resources for corporations and for PBCs, such as factsheets and resource guides.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) advocates for the rights of Indigenous Australians and promotes respect and understanding of these rights among the broader community. This work is led by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner who publishes the annual Native Title Report and Social Justice Report. The AHRC is responsible for reviewing the impact of laws and policies on Indigenous people as well as annually reporting on social justice and native title issues. An important part of the commission is the continued monitoring of the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. It encourages communities to apply for assistance for projects they are seeking to undertake and ICV provides skilled and trained volunteers to help in a practical way. Communities determine the skills needed, select the volunteers and run the project while an ICV Community Development Officer works closely with the community and acts as a facilitator, referring, suggesting and supporting where appropriate. PBCs may find this a useful resource when trying to get projects off the ground or even to get ideas for possible community projects from the examples of current projects that ICV are involved in.
Reconciliation Australia promotes reconciliation between Indigenous Australians and the wider community. They run programs such as Indigenous Governance Awards Project which may be of interest to PBCs. Reconciliation Australia has developed an online governance toolkit designed for PBCs. The toolkit covers basics of governance such as rules and regulations as well as examples of what works from other organisations. To access the toolkit please click here.