Youth Engagement in Native Title

Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Stacey Little
Bhiamie Williamson

The long-term success of native title hinges on the ability of younger generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to carry forward the rights and interests hard-won by their elders. Yet little is known about the experiences, ambitions and views of young native title claimants and holders. 

This presentation will present findings from a pilot research project – Youth Engagement in Native Title. Through interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 18-35, a number of key trends emerged that were critical in engaging young leaders: 

  • Connection to Country and culture
  • Access and distribution of native title knowledge and information
  • Active and ongoing support and mentorship

This presentation will discuss these emerging trends as well as additional barriers to participation faced by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It will consider future priorities for registered native title bodies corporate, research and the wider Indigenous community sector. 

This presentation will finish by reflecting on new initiatives to engage and support young Indigenous people into leadership and decision making roles. This includes the Youth Forum at the National Native Title Conference and the Indigenous Youth in Governance Masterclass. Considering the research findings and these new initiatives reveals a number of critical areas that require urgent investment in emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.