The Aurora Project

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Personally speaking, learning about the importance of connection to culture was a life-changing experience.I acquired a strong sense of appreciation and respect for the peoples’ pride in their ancestors’ customs, knowledge and careful maintenance of family lands.​

Samudhya Jayasekara,
placed at Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA)

Native Title

We offer training, professional development, internships, scholarships and other services for Native Title Representative Bodies and Native Title Service Providers (NTRBs) as well as programs for Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs).

Native title in Australia

The High Court Mabo case in 1992 ruled in favour of a claim to Murray Island by the Meriam people. For the first time, Australian courts accepted that traditional law and custom could be a basis for claiming land ownership by Indigenous people. The Native Title Act 1993 (NTA) established the procedure for making native title claims.  

Training and professional development

Aurora offers training and professional development programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of both new and experienced staff working NTRBs. More recently, PBC representatives are also able to attend selected programs.

Aurora internships

The Internship Program aims to support under-resourced host organisations by introducing anthropology, law, and some social science students and graduates to career opportunities in native title, land rights, policy development, social justice and the broader Indigenous sector.

NTRB Scholarships Program

In the past, scholarships have been available for NTRB staff and other graduates to undertake postgraduate study in Australia and/or overseas.

The Mineral Law NTRB Scholarships Program (formerly know as the Australian Government Rio Tinto NTRB Scholarships Program) offered scholarships since 2003 to lawyers to undertake a Masters in Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

The Native Title Research Scholarship Program launched in 2010, offered scholarship opportunities to undertake post-graduate study at a Masters or PhD level, in a field relating to native title and focusing on anthropology, history and/or Indigenous cultural heritage.

Please note that as of January 2015, Aurora no longer administers either of these two scholarship programs.

NTRB resources

Aurora supports NTRBs by providing a range of resources and services to assist individual staff members and NTRBs at an organisational level. Resources and services include free access to Lawlex, the NTRB Community website, arranging executive coaches, along with a performance management tool, staff handbook and access to insurance.

PBC resources

Aurora has developed a range of materials to specifically support PBCs in managing their native title. These materials were developed as a result of two pilot programs held in 2012 . They are freely available to all PBCs and may be distributed as necessary.