Opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and graduates

There are a range of career options available for those interested in working in NTRBs and/or NTSPs (collectively referred to here as NTRBs).  NTRBs offer employment opportunities which require different skills and experiences.  

This section outlines some of the careers available in native title sector which require university qualifications, the educational pathways to these careers, and support available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to pursue these careers.

Anthropology, Archaeology or History

Most NTRBs employ professionals from one or more of these disciplines, collectively referred to as “research staff”.  Key elements of their roles can include:

  • gathering and reporting on evidence of the native title claim group’s continuous connection to the native title claim area  to support claimants’ testimonies
  • undertaking heritage surveys and other work associated with protecting cultural sites under state heritage legislation.  

Professionals in these fields adhere to codes of conduct overseen by their professional organisations and must have relevant university qualifications.  Anthropology, archaeology and history are ‘social sciences’ and are usually specialisations within arts and humanities faculties.  ​To find a scholarship for this area of study, search "Humanities and Social Sciences"

Law

Native title is an area of Australian law which recognises elements of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law.  The responsibilities of an NTRB legal team often includes:

  • preparing and prosecuting native title claims as the legal representative of native title groups
  • supporting native title group members in negotiating and drafting agreements with governments and other parties
  • drafting corporate constitutions for native title group organisations and companies.

Lawyers must complete degrees in law and meet requirements for admission as a solicitor in the state or territory that they plan to practice in (see relevant legal practice/admission board).  To find a scholarship for this area of study, search "Law"

Heritage and Natural Resource Management

Increasingly NTRBs (and other organisations) are employing  staff to undertake initiatives aimed at managing the natural and cultural resources of land and sea country.  Not all of these roles require university qualifications, but for those working in these areas who want to further their career, a degree in environmental science can open up further opportunities.

To find a scholarship for this area of study, search "Agriculture Environmental and Related Studies"

Scholarships

Over 400 scholarships are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians looking to undertake university study.  Search The Aspiration Initiative's scholarship database to find a scholarship which suits you. 

Getting into uni

Most people apply for uni through a Tertiary Admission Centre based on their ATAR from final high school exams.  There are also ways to gain entry to university that is not based on an ATAR. Most universities offer programs available to Indigenous Australians including alternative entry schemes, preparatory and enabling programs, and bridging courses.  You can find more information about alternative entry programs on The Aspiration Initiative website, and search ​the alternative entry schemes database for programs offered at universities around the country. 

Support at uni

Indigenous Higher Education Units (IHEUs) are located in universities around Australia. These provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, information on further Indigenous academic studies, access to networks of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and academics and provide an Indigenous presence on university campuses.​