Roving Representative Body Workshops

Mid-Career Workshops under our new 3 year funding grant (2016-19) have replaced the former Roving Representative Body Workshops. However, CNTA will continue to collaborate with one or a number of NTRBs and NTSPs to deliver tailored two-day workshops focusing on topics of relevance to the participating organisations.

Topics for the workshops, programs and presenters are discussed between the CNTA and the participating bodies to ensure the content is tailored and specific. The workshops are held in the town closest to the location of the NTRBs/NTSPs cutting down on travel costs.

These workshops aim to provide in-house anthropologists and the NTRB/NTSPs' consultant anthropologists with opportunities to discuss theoretical concepts and claim-based issues with experts in that anthropological field.

November 2016

Mid-career Workshop

A two day CNTA mid-career workshop was recently held with Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS) at New Farm, Brisbane. Thirty (30) people attended on both days with  a number of officers from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Services (ATSIL) Department and related units presenting on revisons to the QLD Connection Guidelines. QSNTS invited other NTRBs in Queensland to participate with NQLC and CYLC  represented by attending anthropologists.

Other issues on the two day agenda was the how to leverage the benefit of connection research for downstream processes including post determination contexts, cultural heritage matters, PBC design, and repatriation of research materials. QSNTS staff and consultants, together with QSNTS' community liaison officers, discussed complex scenarios and possible problem resolutions drawing on various perspectives and situational knowledge.

A workshop dinner was held at the Purple Olive in James Street New Farm- which we later discovered - was a favourite of Joan Meggitt, Mervyn Meggitt's widow.




For the first time a meeting specifically for managers of sections dealing with native title anthropology in NTRBs and NTSPs will be held at Forrest  Hotel and Apartments, Canberra on 2 and 3 May 2016.

Adelaide Workshop, 14-15 April 2016

CNTA held a Roving Workshop in Adelaide at the Treasury Adina Hotel, 2 Flinders Street Adelaide. Our workshop partner was South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS).

SANTS CEO, Mr Keith Thomas, opened the workshop and welcomed participants. Twenty-five people (25) attended the workshop from a range of disciplines involved in native title apart from anthropology. Presenters were lawyers (Mr Peter Tonkin from the South Australian Crown Solicitor's Office), historian Mr Tom Gara, linguists Drs Mary Laughren and Paul Monaghan, and community development practictioner Professor Mark Moran. Dr Bill Kruse also raised issues around taking a community development apporach in claim research and outcomes.

A CNTA writing and research scholar, Ms Ophelia Rubinich, ran a successful session on the question of incorporation. This work was based on research carried out during her recent placement with CNTA. Her session involved group work and was well received by participants.

Professor Nicolas Peterson outlined the development of land rights in South Australia under Premier Don Dunstan which many had not known in detail. Dr David Martin returned to a topic many are grappling with - the design of prescribed bodies corporate (PBCs).

A session on language and history in native title.


Some of the audience: anthropologists, linguists, historians, archaeologists and lawyers.


Professor Nic Peterson presenting at the CNTA SA Roving Workshop.


Workshop welcome by Keith Thomas, CEO of SANTS.


The NLC Roving Workshop, Darwin

A Roving Workshop was held in partnership with the Northern Land Council (NLC) 8-9 December 2015 at the Mirambeena Resort Darwin. This very successful event had guest presenters lawyer Tom Keely SC, anthropologist Jitendra Kumarage and forensic historian Dr Hilda Maclean. Northern Land Council CEO Mr Joe Morrison opened the workshop welcoming participants. The chosen theme was" Key problems in Native Title Anthropology and Practice in the Northern Territory'. Frutiful discussions developed between the legal and anthropological sections of the NLC with a focus on reviewing specific policies and setting aspirations for current and future native title work.



Darwin Workshop, 8-9 December 2015


CNTA Roving workshop participants taking a coffee break at Northern Land Council Darwin 8-9 December 2015. Manager of Anthropology, NLC in the foreground, Dr Stephen Johnson.


NLC PLO Michael O'Donnell addressing the audience. CNTA Roving Workshop, Darwin 8-9 December 2015.


From the left, NLC staff anthropologist Virginie Branchut, CNTA Director Professor Nicolas Peterson, forensic historian Dr Hilda Maclean,and manager anthropology, Dr Steve Johnson 


CYLC and NQLC with CNTA, 16th and 17th October 2014

In October 2014, the CNTA ran a two-day workshop in Cairns with staff from Cape York Land Council and North Queensland Land Council. Presenters included two anthropologists well-known for their experience in the Cape: Professor Peter Sutton and Dr David Martin, as well as Dr Kevin Murphy, Dr Paul Burke, Dr Richard Martin and CNTA regulars Professor Nic Peterson and Dr Cameo Dalley. Well known Qld Barrister Ms Helen Bowskill, also gave a presentation on the role of experts in native title.

The workshop was titled 'From law to society and succession: Native Title in the Cape York and North Queensland regions' and was well frequented by legal staff as well as anthropologists. In total 21 attendees and participants attended. Attendees commented on the utility of anthropologists and lawyers attending such events together, promoting better understandings of one anthother's role in the nateive title process.  

Cairns resident and consultant anthropologist Dr Kevin Murphy discusses the hot topic of 'society' in native title.



CDNTS, GLSC and YMAC with CNTA, 27th and 28th March 2014

Central Desert Native Title Services, Goldfields Land and Sea Council and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation joinded forces with CNTA for a lively two day workshop on the topic 'Around the edges: Claim formations in complex and contested situations'. The workshop was held at the UWA Club in Perth.

The topic for the workshop was devised out of consultations with each of the NTRBs/NTSPs and their geographic priorites for claim progression. Particular areas of interest were claims around the boundaries of each of the organisations and at the furtherst extents of regional cultural blocs.

The event also promoted inter-organisation communication, with many of the attendees meeting one another for the first time. New staff particularly benefited from the opportunity to hear from consultant anthropologists who had worked in Western Australia for many years, including on key native title claims.

13 anthropologists attended from the three organisations along with six presenters including Dr Scott Cane, Associate Professor Lee Sackett, Dr Fiona Skyring, Dr Nicolas Smith.  

Workshop attendees heard from Dr Nicolas Smith based on his native title field research in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

QSNTS with CNTA, 10th and 11th April 2014

With 9 anthropologists employed on-staff, Queensland South Native Title Services is one of the largest employers of native title anthropologists in Australia. With registered claims located from Brisbane stretching up as far north as Mount Isa, the region and anthropological issues are diverse.

During the two day workshop titled 'Claims of relevance to anthropological research in the QSNTS region', staff anthropologists heard from some of the most experienced consultant anthropologists working across the region.

Speakers included Dr Anna Kenny, Mr Kim McCaul, Dr John Morton, Dr Anthony Redmond and Associate Professor Lee Sackett.

Attendees and presenters at the QSNTS workshop in Brisbane.


Updated:  6 December 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications