CNTA held an inaugural workshop for First Nations staff and consultants working in the native title sector. Participants met in late August in Brisbane and were represented by  employees of the Federal Court, the National Native Title Tribunal, and staff from QSNTS, CYLC and NQLC.

Although a small gathering, we welcomed First Nations staff and President from the National Native Title Tribunal, and from the Federal Court as well as staff from native title service organisations. CNTA intends to grow this initiative in future years.

The meeting was facilitated by Petronella Vaarzon-Morel and Tahnee Innes with guest speakers (see program).

Attached are two photos of the joint session between NTRB/NTSPs and Land Council Research Managers and First Nations attendees which was followed by lunch.

CNTA hopes to create more opportunities for joint dialogue with First Nations people working in the native title sector.

The program for the event is available below:

Challenges and Opportunities for First Nations Anthropologists and Researchers in the Native Title Landscape.

29-30 August 2023

Venue: Christie Conference Spaces, Brisbane

ROOM 1, level 3 240 Queen Street. Access to the building is provided from 8am onwards.

Aim of the workshop: This workshop is the first of its kind offered by CNTA. We hope it provides a space for First Nations anthropologists working in the various domains of native title to meet colleagues and begin a network of professional connections.

The program seeks to touch on the various arenas involved in native title applied anthropology, such as research and preparation of native title determination reports, court work, the postdetermination space/phase, and return of materials, cultural mapping etc.

8.30-9.00 Coffee and registration

9.00-9.45 Introductions: Tahnee (CYLC) and Petronella (Director CNTA)

Who are you? How long have you been working in this field and in what role(s)

9.45- 10.30 Tahnee Innes: Managing relationships and challenges in NTRBs/NTSPs/land councils in attracting and retaining First Nations Anthropologists/researchers

10.30-11.00 Morning tea

11.45-12.30 Research Managers join the workshop: recruitment and retention challenges.

12.30-1.30 Joint lunch

1.30-2.00 Michael Aird, (UQ Anthropology Museum): What photographs can tell us.

This presentation will follow Michael Aird’s journey of working with Aboriginal photographs for over 35 years and how he has been able to attach information to photographs. Many of the photographs were taken at a time when Indigenous people were only valued for the stereotypical image, they represented, rather than as people with individual identities worthy of being recorded.

It is important to Indigenous people to identify who appears in photographs. This has enabled descendants to build family histories that connect people to place and country. From photographs, genealogical information has been sourced that forms important evidentiary grounding for native title claims.

2.30-3.00 First Nations Anthropologists. Open Discussion session (Facilitated by Tahnee and Petronella) Your experiences: what rewards, risks, and difficulties participants have you experienced as an Indigenous anthropologist?

3.00-3.30 Afternoon tea

3.30-4.15 Petronella Vaarzon-Morel: Review of key issues from today’s discussion

Joint Workshop Dinner at the Pancake Manor – 18 Charlotte Street Brisbane. 7.00pm

Day 2

9.00-9.30 Ivan Ingram: Registrar in the Federal Court of Australia. Expert Witnesses in native title
9.30-10.30 Carmen Cooms-Delaney (QSNTS): Working at the coal face as a First Nations
Engagement Advisor

10.30-11.00 Morning tea

11.00-11.30 Suzi Hutchings (RMIT): Treading lightly, but strong: reflections on being a First Nations
native title anthropologist.
11.30-12.00 Amanda Gamble and Sandez Barnard (NNTT) Assistance under s 60AAA of the NTA, and
the role of applied anthropology.
12.00 -12.30 Working collaboratively- two illustrations.
Trish Barnard (former curator QLD Museum. The NTRBS and Land Council’s role as “depository”
(genealogies, photos, storage/management of materials, access issues).

David Martin (consultant) Collaborative planning for development: a methodology for the Arnhem
Highway upgrade

12.30-12.45 Wrap Up by Tahnee: Next Steps?

12.45 Lunch

End of Workshop

References for follow up reading are also available (see download/attachment).

Click here for references for CNTA First Nations Native Title Workshop