Country, Culture, People, Future

National Indigenous Affairs

Native Title Report 2021

Posted: March 16th, 2021

There is still time to contribute to the Native Title Report 2021 to influence native title reform.

The survey will be open until Friday 19 March.

The Native Title Report 2021 will focus on women’s voices and stories about their experiences in the native title system. The report, which will be tabled in Federal Parliament, will inform the Government in its native title reform agenda as well as those in the sector who play a role in advocating for change.

There are 3 ways to contribute:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with experience in the native title system are invited to complete a survey. The survey will now stay open until 19 March 2021. The survey is smartphone-friendly.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and all other people and organisations with experience and expertise in the native title system are invited to make a submission. This is an opportunity to provide more detailed information than the survey. The guided submission is also open until 19 March 2021.
  • You can also upload your own document as a submission, or email us your comments directly at nativetitle@humanrights.gov.au  There are PDF and Word versions of the submission available on the Have Your Say webpage to assist you if needed.

CATSI Act Review Final Report

Posted: February 17th, 2021

The review of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) has been completed, with the final report published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s (NIAA’s) website.

The final report reflects the feedback received during the second phase of consultation and makes 72 recommendations outlining changes to the CATSI Act, suggesting further consideration of some aspects of the CATSI Act and identifying additional support that could be provided to corporations incorporated under the CATSI Act.

The Australian Government is considering the Final Report with a view to bringing forward a bill to amend the CATSI Act in due course.

 

Federal Government passes reforms of Native Title Legislation

Posted: February 8th, 2021

The Senate has passed the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) with a specific date to be announced of when the new measures will commence.

The Bill amends the Native Title  Act 1993 (Native Title Act) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) to improve native title claims resolution, agreement-making, Indigenous decision-making and dispute resolution processes, including to:

  1. give greater flexibility to native title claim groups to set their internal processes;
  2. streamline and improve native title claims resolution and agreement-making;
  3. allow historical extinguishment over areas of national and state park to be disregarded where the parties agree;
  4. increase the transparency and accountability of registered native title bodies corporate (RNTBCs); and
  5. create new pathways to address native title-related disputes arising following a native title determination.

Time will be given to ensure that native title claim groups have time to consider the effect of the changes on how their claim will be managed, and to change their internal processes if necessary.

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) can provide information, guidance and support around the process to update rule books.

The NIAA will be producing a factsheet on the new requirements which will be made available to RNTBCs and Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs).

The ORIC has also agreed to develop a generic rule book template that native title holders could consider when responding to the new requirements.

Please read the joint media release for further information.

Legislations’ shortcomings noted in the Juukan Gorge Inquiry.

Posted: December 11th, 2020

Industry, and State and Federal legislation have been held accountable by the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000 Year Old Caves at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

The Committee tabled an interim report, titled Never Again from its Inquiry to Parliament on December 9 2020. They noted that more time was needed to produce a full report to cover such complex issues.

The findings make it clear that several laws must change to address the power imbalance inherent in State and Federal legislation.

The report makes seven recommendations focussing on improving relations between industry and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and improving the legislative framework protecting Indigenous heritage.

A copy of the media statement YMAC has prepared in response to this report in available here.

YMAC will continue to advocate for legislative reform, for a fairer and more balanced environment for Traditional Owners to undertake agreement-making and for central involvement in decisions about what happens on their Country.

 

ORIC Registrar’s actions to help Aboriginal Corporations during COVID-19

Posted: March 27th, 2020

 

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) is aware of the challenges posed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations during this period. They are working on temporary provisions to support your operations and governance.

The Registrar continues to operate with staff available for you to contact to help you with any questions you have regarding the operation and governance of your corporation.

The Registrar will use his unique powers and the flexibility of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act), to help corporations manage the threats and impacts of COVID-19.

A corporation can request the Registrar exercise his power under the CATSI Act to change their rule book to include a set of special rules to assist, without needing to pass a special resolution for this purpose.

More information can be found here.

Regular updates and further information can be found here

NAIDOC WEEK HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID19

Posted: March 24th, 2020

 

The National NAIDOC Committee (NNC) has announced that NAIDOC Week 2020 (5 July -12 July) will be postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This decision was made in the interests of safety for their communities after taking advice from the Federal Government, health experts, key partners and leading national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations.

“We all believe that an escalating COVID-19 crisis as we head into winter would have disastrous impacts on our mob – especially for our Elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues.”

Also suspended are the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants round, which will not be progressed.  No funding will be awarded under the round at this time.

Any information about the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round re-opening will be published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, the Agency’s social media pages and on the NAIDOC website.

The Agency will shortly contact those who have already submitted an application. If applications are re-opened for the NAIDOC Local Grants Round you are not expected to re-apply but organisers may need to contact you once they have more information.

If you did not have the opportunity to submit your application and wish to be notified about future arrangements or opportunities to apply, please email  NAIDOCGrants@niaa.gov.au.

The National NAIDOC Awards to have been held in Alice Springs on 11 July have also be postponed. This means that the nomination process will not go ahead for now.

The NNC will keep communities updated on new dates for the above events once confirmed, but at this stage it is not known when this will be.

For more information contact the NNC here

 

 

Funding securing ranger futures

Posted: March 11th, 2020

 

The Federal Government’s commitment to funding Indigenous ranger programs is a great acknowledgement of Traditional Owners’ instrumental role in the conservation and management of Australia’s natural resources.

YMAC is really happy to see certainty for another 7 years, provided to Indigenous rangers who look after nearly 50 percent of Australia’s protected areas. This is an excellent result for existing programs such as the Nyangumarta Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program, now in its fifth year of operation.

In future we hope to see funding available for new projects.

You can read the full release here

SAVE THE DATE – Compensation Information Workshop – 25 March 2020

Posted: March 9th, 2020

 

In March 2019 the High Court of Australia made its first Native Title compensation decision.

There are many important issues to consider before filing a Native Title compensation claim including whether there are alternatives.

To assist PBCs and Native Title Holders to navigate this complex area, the National Native Title Council (NNTC) in conjunction with YMAC will be running an information workshop.

The workshop will be open to existing Prescribed Bodies Corporates (PBC) and Native Title claim groups where the Federal Court of Australia has set down their claim for a consent determination.

This first information workshop will be held at Gwoonwardu Mia located at 146 Robinson Street, Carnarvon.

To ensure everyone can participate, attendance numbers are limited to 2 people from each PBC Board and Native Title group.

To confirm who will be attending from your group, please contact Renae Jory at Rjory@ymac.org.au to register who your two representatives will be, and to make the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements by Wednesday, 18 March 2020.

 

6 December – another 25 year anniversary for YMAC.

Posted: December 6th, 2019

6 December marks another 25 year anniversary for YMAC.

In 1994, then named Yamatji Barna Baba Maaja Aboriginal Corporation (YBBMAC), the organisation achieved full Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) status under the Native Title Act (1993), initially to the Geraldton (Yamatji) region.

Achieving this status enabled YBBMAC to manage claims in the Geraldton representative area and established the organisation’s main objective for the next 25 years. In that time YMAC has achieved 26 native title determinations with Traditional Owners.

While our focus remains on achieving native title, YMAC’s services have grown to meet the changing needs of the Traditional Owners we work with. We now also offer a range of services that support Aboriginal Corporations to reach their own milestones in caring for Country and supporting their communities.

YMAC looks forward to the next phase of our partnerships with Traditional Owners throughout the Yamatji and Marlpa regions of WA.