Foundations of Native Title (FoNT)


Foundations of Native Title (FoNT) is a three day program designed as an introduction to working in native title and in an NTRB. It provides opportunities for you to acquire and build on the skills and knowledge you need to work in native title, through a range of activities in a supportive environment. It is also a chance for you to connect with and learn from other NTRB staff.

Topics include:

  • traditional owner perspectives on native title
  • overview of the native title system and native title law
  • overview of the role, responsibilities and functions of NTRBs
  • roles and responsibilities of NTRB staff
  • intercultural communication in native title work
  • visit to the Federal Court and National Native Title Tribunal
  • conflict management
  • working through NTRB scenarios.


Who can attend

To attend this program you must be employed by an NTRB. FoNT is recommended for staff with less than 12 months experience in native title. This program is a repeat of FoNT offered in past years.

There is no fee to attend, however your organisation is responsible for all travel arrangements.


To register you must commit to attending the entire program by signing a Statement of Commitment on the registration form. This program is closed. Email T&PD

Learn more

Lawyers can accrue Continuing Legal Education points for attending this program.

FoNT includes sessions to build your skills and knowledge as follows:

  • learn from traditional owners
  • hear their experience of native title and have your questions answered in an informal setting.
  • understand native title and the work of NTRBs
  • an overview of native title in Australia, the legal processes (how do you ‘prove’ native title, who are the major players, the typical steps involved and related matters like future acts and ILUAs) and the current state of play around Australia, along with the functions and responsibilities of NTRBs under the Native Title Act 1993.
  • explore the various roles of NTRB staff
  • a small group activity explores the different responsibilities, and gives you added insight into what your colleagues do, and how things are done at other NTRBs
  • explore how to better communicate in native title work
  • review common misunderstandings between those working in the native title and legal systems, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and discuss how to avoid them
  • hone your skills for managing conflict
  • explore appropriate and constructive ways to respond to conflict, whether within the NTRB or with external stakeholders.
  • Apply what you have learned
  • small group activities allow you to apply what you have learned through the program to hypothetical situations similar to those which commonly occur in NTRBs.