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Native Title Anthropologist Grants

Bush Honey collected, Gregory National Park (Student Collection)

The Attorney-General's Native Title Anthropologist Grants Program aims to attract a new generation of junior anthropologists to native title work and encourage senior anthropologists to remain within the system. To support these objectives, ANUE devised a structured program linking a Field School in the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory, including orientation seminars in Darwin, with a week-long Workshop Intensive program at the Australian National University.

Anthropologists are vital to the successful operation of the native title system – native title claimants rely on experienced anthropologists to provide high quality expert connection evidence to support their application, and government bodies require anthropologists to assess connection evidence in relation to native title claims. The critical shortage of experienced anthropologists currently working in native title can lead to delays in the resolution of claims and impact on the quality of native title outcomes for all parties.

ANUE sourced and coordinated appropriate experts to lead both the Field School and Workshop, helped source and engage relevant presenters for both events, and provided logistics support for the remote travel required for the field school. A peer-reviewed article reflecting on the experience and outcomes of the training program was developed, and an evaluation specialist was commissioned to provide advice on best-practice evaluation for future iterations of the program. The senior experts for this project also created a 'guide for instructors' to assist other groups wanting to conduct field school-type training programs.