The Native Title Research Unit (NTRU), in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, has been engaging and conducting research with Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs), or Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBCs) since 2007 in partnership with.
Past research projects include the PBC Research Action Partnerships which was about providing a better understanding of the challenges facing native title holder communities after their native title determination. The project included practical approaches to help communities to hold, manage and enjoy the potential benefits of traditional lands and waters. These research activities informed the publication Living with native title: the experiences of registered native title corporations.
As well as a submission to government to recognise the changing roles of native title organisations and the infrastructure and support they provide to the PBC sector.
In the previous PBC support project, we focused on promoting awareness of PBCs among Commonwealth and state governments and building the capacity of PBCs to promote their interests. As part of the Getting PBCs off the ground project, we:
- convened national and regional PBC workshops
- held secretariat functions for PBCs
- ran a network of stakeholders working with PBCs and a PBC support officer network
- conducted the PBC Capability Project which provided insight and research into the expanding PBC sector and the post-determination landscape, and collected information about the work that PBCs do, as well as information about the size, function, governance, operational and economic capacity of PBCs around Australia.
Download information about previous PBC meetings and workshops:
In 2013, we conducted the AIATSIS 2013 PBC survey to compile a detailed picture of PBCs and what kind of support they needed. Drawing on the results of this survey, we argued for the importance of adequate resourcing and support for PBCs and informed the Australian Government's Native Title Organisations Review in 2013.
PBCs were surveyed again in 2019 in partnership with NNTC and CSIRO. This survey gathered information about the work that PBCs do, their plans and visions for the future, the challenges they face and what will help them to achieve their goals.
We are continuing to support PBCs and the native title sector in a number of ways, foremost through the regularly updated PBC website.
The website assists PBCs to better know their rights, obligations and functions as well as being a hub for useful information for PBCs and people interested in native title.
It offers practical information for PBCs just setting up or already established PBCs who are researching particular topics such as staff, directors and the board, COVID-19, communication strategies or the use of social media.
The information also includes resources, relevant reading materials, guides, templates and checklists.
The PBC national snapshot provides up-to-date information about the number, size and distribution of PBCs in Australia. PBC profiles also contain information about each PBC, including information on their history, their corporate and administrative profile, a map of their native title lands and information about determinations and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs). The website also contains lists of training and funding opportunities relevant to PBCs.
We empower PBCs and the wider sector by generating reliable information and stringent research which can be found on the PBC website.
Native Title newsletter
We also publish a biannual electronic Native Title Newsletter which you can subscribe to and a number of publication series including discussion, issues and working papers, as well as research monographs, books and edited volumes. We welcome submissions to publish in these series.