Glossary / Key terms

Name Description
Replaceable rules

Replaceable rules are rules that can be changed, removed or replaced to suit the PBC. Not all rules are replaceable, the CATSI Act says which rules are.

Rule book

A document that explains how the PBC should be run. It is also known as the PBC constitution.


During a meeting the 'seconder' is someone that agrees with the ‘mover’, supporting their motion being put to a vote. When a motion is 'moved' it also needs to be 'seconded' before it can be discussed and votes made.



Sovereignty is the power and right to govern the land and its people. For example the British declared sovereignty in Australia, saying they had power over all the land and people. The dates when the British declared power are different in each state or territory.

Special administration

When a PBC has repeated problems with reporting, leadership or money the Registrar of ORIC can place the PBC into special administration.  The Registrar then gets an independent person (or group of people) to come in and try to fix these problems. This is only for corporations registered under the CATSI Act. A PBC has the chance to review ORIC’s decision to put a PBC into special administration. Special administration is better for supporting the PBC and protecting its future, whereas voluntary administration (under the Corporations Act 2001) is more focused on paying back money owed to suppliers and others.

Trustee PBC

A type of corporation where a PBC has agreed to keep and manage the native title for the native title holders. The Trustee PBC must protect the rights and interests of the native title holders.


An agreement where native title is kept by a PBC for the benefit of the native title holders. The PBC who keeps the trust (the trustee PBC) has legal responsibilities to the native title holders (the beneficiaries).

Unallocated Crown land

A term used by some government agencies before the Mabo decision to talk about land that has not been given to private owners, leases or to the public. After the Mabo decision it is better to talk about this land as ‘Crown radical title’. This is because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have native title rights and interests that may affect the Crown’s interest.