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My internship at FVPLS was an extremely positive experience and the overall experience I had during my internship has inspired me to consider pursuing a career in this area of the law.

Thomas Prior,
placed at Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (FVPLS)

NTRB Scholarships (no longer administered by Aurora aside from current Scholars)

Aurora has to date administered two NTRB scholarship programs aimed at attracting and retaining lawyers and research staff including anthropologists and historians to work in native title. PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer administering the Native Title Research Scholarship Program. In addition, as of December 2014, Rio Tinto will no longer be funding the scholarships to Dundee. Further to our recent IAS funding application, PM&C have decided not to continue funding NTRB Scholarships to undertake a Master of Laws in Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee. This means that Aurora will no longer be administering the Dundee scholarships. This will not affect our current 2014/15 Scholars, Jeremiah Riley (KLC) and Phil Ramsay (Central Desert), who will be our final Scholars for the Program.

About the Mineral Law NTRB Scholarship Program

Each year two postgraduate scholarships have been available leading to a Master of Laws (LLM) in Mineral Law and Policy at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

After identifying problems with the recruitment and retention of lawyers to the native title system and in particular to NTRBs, recommendations to government supported a scholarship program along with training and other support.

Initially support for the program for lawyers to study a Masters in Mineral Law at the University of Dundee, Scotland was provided by Rio Tinto. In 2008, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) (formerly FaHCSIA) provided additional funding for the renamed Australian Government - Rio Tinto NTRB Scholarship program. As of December 2014, Rio Tinto will no longer be funding this scholarship program. Further to our recent IAS funding application, PM&C have decided not to continue funding NTRB Scholarships to undertake a Master of Laws in Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee. This means that Aurora will no longer be administering the Dundee scholarships.

As a snapshot of the Program since it began in 2005:

  • 21 lawyers have been selected to undertake the LLM from 168 applicants
  • 18 of the Scholars have been from 9 NTRBs namely Central Desert (3), CLC, CYLC, KLC (3), NLC (4), NTSCORP (2), NTSV, TSRA and YMAC (2); and 3 of these are Indigenous. 
  •  In addition, 3 lawyers from outside the native title system joined the system after being awarded the scholarship and completing the Master’s program
  • The 6 highest ranking students to undertake the LLM at Dundee in the last 8 years have been our Scholars, and 2 additional Scholars ranked 2nd and 4th. 
  • 14 Scholars fulfilled their 2 year post-study NTRB commitment (on average staying for an average of 3.4 years after completing their studies), and an additional 4 are currently fulfilling this obligation. 
  • 3 Scholars have gone on to be appointed PLO or acting PLO.
  • 4 of the Scholars in the last 5 years were Aurora interns.

We are proud of what the Program has achieved both as an attraction mechanism and a retention device for lawyers working in the native title system.  

About the Native Title Research Scholarships

Native Title Research Scholarships have been available 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 AT THIS TIME, NO NATIVE TITLE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS WILL BE OFFERED VIA AURORA FOR 2015.