CNTA Guided Research and Writing Placements

Program Overview

Guided Research and Writing Placements (GRWPs) provide a research intensive professional development opportunity for anthropologists currently working in the native title sector through a three-week visiting fellowship program at the ANU in Canberra.

The placements are specifically aimed at providing anthropologists working outside academia with an opportunity to spend time researching an issue related to their practice in native title anthropology.

The GRWPs encourage engagement with academia and scholarship through a dedicated period of guided study. During the placement, successful applicants will undertake a small research project under limited supervision on a pre-determined subject of relevance to the practice of native title anthropology in Australia. The placements build practitioners’ theoretical knowledge, academic skills and professional networks and in doing so strengthen links between academic and applied research.

GRWPs are appointed at ANU Research Officer Grade 5.1(Research). Funds to support the position are provided to help cover  travel and accommodation in Canberra as well as a small stipend to support their time in Canberra. Office space, computer and email services, and access to ANU library resources will be provided.

Placements are awarded through a competitive application process. Applicants are required to provide a brief outline of the topic they wish to research, along with their resume and statement of eligability against selection criteria. A call for applications is circulated via the CNTA mailing list around September each year. Please see our Contact Us page, for details about how to be added to this mailing list.

If you have any questions or wish seek further clarification please contact Professor Nicolas Peterson or Dr Julie Finlayson.


2020 Scholars

The following scholars were awarded a GRWP in 2020:

  • Gareth Lewis (Consultant)
    • Gareth plans to use this placement to document and develop theoretical understandings of Indigenous sacred sites and the Indigenous experience of damage to these sites across Indigenous communities. He hopes this work will contribute to understandings of solatium and compensation currently emerging in post-determination native title practise.
  • Michelle Goodwin (Central Land Council)
    • Michelle will undertake research into the intersection between Alyawarr law and native title law and examine how Alyawarr people engage in the negotiation of ILUAs and PBC structures and processes.
  • Andrew Fahey (Central Land Council)
    • Andrew is interested in conducting research into Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs), including the interaction between tradtional law and custom and the regulatory regimes of the CATSI Act, and how they are conceptualised and subsequently implemented by Anthropologists and other Native Title practitioners.


2019 Scholars

The following scholars completed a GRWP in 2019:

  • Dr Richard Davis (Central Land Council)
    • Richard undertook research into the archiving of material collected by anthropologists in the research phase of native title claims and the claimants' relationship to these materials in the post-determination era.
  • Alexandra Crowe (NTSCorp)
    • Alexandra conducted research into social category systems across NSW and the ACT.
  • Callista Barritt (Kimberly Land Council)
    • Callista produced an annotated bibliograpahy on approaches of NTRB and anthropologists to PBC support and development.
  • Sibylla Scott (First Nations Legal and Research Services)
    • Sibylla produced a paper titled ‘Strategic possibilities of rights for nature concepts in furthering Aboriginal water sovereignty: learning from the Whanganui experience’.
  • Dr Mahnaz Alimardanian (Consultant) 
    • Mahnaz drafted a paper titled ‘Solatium and Ontological Loss: Anthropological Evidence in Native Title Compensation Claims’ which she plans to submit for publication in the future. 
  • Zsuzsanna Gonda (Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation)
    • Zsuzanna researched the topic of PBCs and Aboriginal engagement with the Native Title Act.
  • Tim Pilbrow (Consultant)
    • Tim originally completed at GRWP in 2012. In 2019 he returned to CNTA for a short period to finalise his research and producing a paper titled “The integrative value of conflict and dispute: implications for defining community in the native title context”. His paper will be published in the Australian Journal of Anthropology in thier April 2020 issue. 


2018 Scholars

The following scholars completed a GRWP in 2018:

  • Adele Millard (Consultant)
    • Adele used her placement to complete an annotated bibilography on Customary Marine Tenure in Southern Australia. You can download a copy of this paper on our Resources page.
  • Craig Elliott (Central Land Council)
    • Craig drafted a paper titled ‘Adoption and Claims to Land in Australia: Inferred Consanguinity or Double Dipping?’ Craig plans to submit his paper for publiction in the future.
  • Tim Dauth (Crown Solicitor's Office, NSW)
    • Tim undertook research into native title claim group description models and considered other ways of describing claim groups that might better reflect Aboriginal understandings of connection to country.
  • Chrissy Lui (Independant Researcher)
    • Chrissy produced a paper “Conundrums in the use of Visual research methods and products in native title claims”. You can download a copy of this paper on our Resources page.


GRWP's have been offered by CNTA since 2011. 

Please see CNTA's Resources page for links to copies of papers produced by past GRWPs recipients. 

Updated:  14 February 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications