Native title governance: decision-making and dispute management

Project status: 

Managing decision-making and dispute resolution is an important part of managing native title rights and interests. As part of their native title determination, native title holders form and register a Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) – a corporation to hold the native title rights and interests in trust or agency of the broader native title holding group. The board, staff and members of the PBC occupy a difficult space – legally complex – with a broad range of decision-making rights, roles and responsibilities.

This project examines decision-making structures, processes and models which best fulfil the demands of native title decision-making and provide options for dispute resolution and management.

Research Partnerships

Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation logo​Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (TCAC) and AIATSIS are working collaboratively to produce a series of decision-making guides and materials for Taungurung people to use in governance.

The guides will contain practical information on:

  • Compliance and legal requirements
  • Decision-making models
  • Separation of powers
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Subsidiarity
  • Cultural governance

The guides will:

  • Be of practical use for Taungurung people in governance
  • Assist in communication with and engagement of Taungurung people in TCAC
  • Be useful tools in the induction and succession of TCAC board members
  • provide a check when issues of disagreement arise about procedures and policies
  • be of benefit to the broader Indigenous corporation sector

This information will be shared on TCAC website and the PBC website.

AIATSIS are also working with Right People for Country (RPfC) on an engagement project with TCAC and Taungurung community. The project involves and series of family meetings and reporting back to improve local positive engagement with the traditional owner corporation.

What does your PBC or traditional owner corporation need for governance?

The NTRU are seeking interest from PBCs and traditional owner corporations who would like research, information services and engagement assistance with governance matters for 2018.

If you are part of a PBC, traditional owner corporation or a NTRB/SP and would like to be involved in this project, please contact Dr Belinda Burbidge on or 02 6261 4226.

Publications and resources

Strelein, L., Hassing, C. and B. Burbidge. Managing decisions, managing disputes. Land, Rights, Laws: Issues in Native Title (In press).


Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (TCAC)

Publications and resources

Last reviewed: 22 Apr 2020