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The future of connection material held by Native Title Representative Bodies: Final report

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Grace Koch
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The native title process has created valuable research resources assembled during the claim research. Although some of this material has come from other sources, the arrangement of the documents coupled with original field research gives a unique description of Indigenous societies and their connections with the land. Also, much of the field material is irreplaceable because the elders who gave the information may have passed away. This connection material is of great value, not only to claimants, but to the wider community because it offers a valuable contribution to Australian history, anthropology, sociology, land management and other disciplines; however, because it was created as part of a legal process, it deserves special recognition and respect. 

Early in 2005, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), through the Native Title Research Unit (NTRU), sponsored a project, 'The Future of Connection Material,' to focus upon issues of arrangement, preservation, and access to connection material. A series of workshops, surveys, and web resources have resulted from directions provided by NTRB staff who have set the goals for the project.

In 2008, after an intensive workshop session with staff of NTRBs funded by FaHCSIA in Sydney, this final report on the needs of NTRBs was submitted.