Annual Conference

Annual Conference

Each year the CNTA's develops one conference of two-day duration on themes of broad applicability and interest in native title anthropology. The conference provides students, consultant anthropologists, anthropologists employed at representative bodies and government (i.e. anthropologists across all native title sectors) with opportunities to learn about and discuss current issues pertinent to native title research and practice.

The location of the conferences is rotated to ensure coverage and geographical accessibility across Australia. Conferences are usually held in February each year.

2017 Perth Annual Conference: Emerging Strategic Issues in Native Title

The CNTA Annual Conference was held in Perth, Western Australia on 9-10 February 2017 addressing the theme of Emerging Strategic Issues in Native Title Anthropology

The conference venue was the Travelodge Hotel, 417 Hay Street, Perth.

The CNTA conference was heavily subscribed with numbers beyond our expectation and usual numbers. Although places were originally capped at 100 it was decided that all interested parties should be able to attend.  By the time the conference opened, 110 people had registered for the two day meeting.

Professor Peterson provided an Introductory Address after the Welcome to Country by Mr Barry McGuire.

The Opening Address was given by Mr Glen Kelly, (CEO of the National Native Title Council) with Keynote papers presented by Mr Simon Hawkins (CEO of YMAC), Ms Petronella Vaarzon-Morel(independent consultant) and Mr Mike Dillon (Visiting Fellow at CAEPR, ANU).

On Thursday evening the conference dinner was held at Perth's iconic Miss Maud's with 60 people in attendance.

Some conference papers have since been distributed to attendees through the CNTA Email Distribution List. 

On the Friday afternoon, Day 2 of the CNTA conference CNTA joined with the Federal Court of Australia (FCA) and the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) for a joint session to Celebrate 25 years of Native Title Anthropology: A tribute to the contribution of anthropologists to the development of Australian native title law.

Both Professor Peterson and Dr Finlayson spoke.

Presentations were made by leading barristers and native title anthropologists on key issues and challenges, as well as revisiting land mark cases over the course of a number of practictioners' professional histories. A future publication of the proceedings has been suggested by the NNTT.





The Future of Native Title Anthropology

Jointly convened by the CNTA and Queensland South Native Title Services and Anthropology Department, University of Queensland

The 2016 CNTA Annual Conference was held on 4-5 February 2016 at Women's College, University of Queensland, Brisbane. Attendance was high with 76 registered participants. The program comprised a mix of presentations and group discussion of hypotheticals. Practical advice for anthropologist acting as court experts was provided in Justice Rangiah's Key Note Address.

Adelaide anthropologists, Drs Deane Fergie, Rod Lucas and linguist Paul Monaghan presented an ethnographic film on how concurrent anthropological evidence is given in contested claims before the federal court. Other important topics covered by presenters were community development (Dr Danielle Campbell from CLC, and Bruce Martin, consultant), compensation claims (Lee Sackett) and the intersection of history with anthropology (Dr Hilda Maclean).

CNTA woud like to recognise the presence of Emeritus Professor Bruce Rigsby who attended.

Where available conference papers have been circulated to members of the CNTA Distribution List. Professor Nic Peterson's introductory and community development papers are provided here.

Conference programs

Conference papers 

Please visit the Resources page for papers from the 2016 Conference.

Justice Rangiah delivers the keynote address.

Justice Rangiah delivers the keynote address.

Bruce Martin and Kevin Smith

Bruce Martin and Kevin Smith (QSNTS Conference co-host).

group discussion

Deep discussion on a hypothetical.

Conference panelists.

group discussion

Group discussion on hypotheticals.


Alternative Pathways to Outcomes in Native Title Anthropology

Jointly convened by the CNTA and Native Title Services Victoria

University of Melbourne, Melbourne

12th and 13th February 2015

View the program here

For copies of some of the presentations, please see the Resources page.



Conceptualising the 'South East' of Aboriginal Australia

Jointly convened by the CNTA and the University of Sydney

University of Sydney, Sydney

20th and 21st February 2014

View the program here


Ray Wood presenting at the CNTA/University of Sydney workshop held in Sydney.



Adding Value and Meaning to Anthropological Mapping in Native Title Research

Australian National University, Canberra

11th and 12th February 2014

View the program here

Attendees from around Australia at the mapping conference held at the ANU in Canberra.



Anthropology in the Aftermath of Native Title

University Club of Western Australia, Perth

21st and 22nd June 2012

View the program here

Attendees in Perth listening to the keynote address by Dr David Martin.


Writing About Connection

Jointly convened by the CNTA and the University of Queensland

Womens' College, University of Queensland, Brisbane

22nd and 23rd March 2012

View the program here

Updated:  17 October 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications