Links to relevant websites
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) has conducted research on PBCs over many years. Information on AIATSIS’ PBC/RNTBC research can be found on the AIATSIS website. As discussed on that page, surveys of PBCs were conducted in 2017 and again in 2019, and there are some research reports and information sheets which would be of interest to anthropologists.
For instance, there is a downloadable report which outlines the rationale, methods, results, and implications of the 2019 survey of Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBCs) (published February 2021). There are also a number of short papers/fact sheets arising from the 2017 PBC survey; for example, regarding the range of decision-making and dispute management rules, set out in RNTBC constitutions.
In both instances, the focus appeared to be on rules related to the internal (corporate) governance of RNTBCs themselves, but did not include the governance of the functions they performed by the RNTBCs, such as ascertaining the views of native title holders regarding dealings in the native title (in accordance with the PBC Regulations), or disputation amongst the native title holders concerning who rightfully ‘speaks for’ particular locales or areas within the determined lands and waters concerned.
AIATSIS also has a special-purpose website for PBCs (nativetitle.org.au) which contains an overview of the Native Title Act, and of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and the role that the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) plays in administering the CATSI Act. It also outlines the process of a native title claimant application and the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) regulations under the NTA which set out the functions of a PBC and the principles by which decisions are to be made by native title holders regarding the management of their native title.
The AIATSIS nativetitle.org.au website also has an extensive list of materials relevant to PBCs on its ‘Resources and publications‘ tab.
The ORIC website has a specific section dealing with the intersection between the CATSI Act and native title, including a discussion of the PBC Regulations. It also has a downloadable paper entitled Writing good governance rules for PBCs and RNTBCs, which however focuses almost exclusively on rules for the internal governance of the PBC/RNTBC, with little detail directly relevant to decision-making concerning governance of the native title.
CNTA resources relevant to PBCs
Below are downloadable files relevant to PBC design and management. The first is a paper by David Martin Framework for working with native title groups in establishing and managing socially and culturally sustainable PBCs. Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, for whom it was originally prepared, have given permission for an edited version of this paper to be available on the CNTA website.
There is also a Fact Sheet published in 2012 by the Aurora Foundation which very usefully sets out the legal contexts in which PBCs/RNTBCs make decisions, and separates those relating to the internal governance of the PBC on the one hand, and on the other the governance of managing and making decisions concerning native title. This Fact Sheet does not appear to now be available on the Foundation’s website, so CNTA has uploaded it to this site.