Jamie Lowe | Chief Executive Officer
Jamie Lowe, a proud Gundijtmara Djabwurrung man, first joined the National Native Title Council (NNTC) as Chair in 2017.
Two years later, he was appointed CEO, charged with supporting First Nation’s people’s right to true self-determination in advocating for their right to speak for and manage their own Country; to govern their own communities; to participate fully in decision making and to self-determine their own social and economic development.
In 2021 he was appointed as the Indigenous Specialist Representative for the Australian Heritage Council – the principal adviser to the Australian Government on heritage matters.
In July 2018 he joined the Victorian Heritage Council as an Indigenous Specialist Representative and is a joint council member of the Coalition of the Peaks. Jamie was instrumental in the Closing The Gap Agreement with the Federal Government, that came into effect July 2020.
Prior to joining NNTC Jamie was CEO of the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation in South Western Victoria, awarded Native Title in 2011. Today he represents the Eastern Maar People as an elected representative on the historic First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, the representative elected body tasked with negotiating a Treaty with the Victoria Government.
Internationally, Jamie is the NNTC representative on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) – a high level advisory body to the New York based UN Economic and Social Council.
As a key influencer, Jamie firmly believes that creating economic independence and maintaining and growing cultural identity are vital in creating a self-determining nation of First Nations peoples, and will continue to tirelessly advocate for a national Treaty whilst remaining a strong advocate for Traditional Owners and communities across Australia.
Highly regarded by the media, Jamie is regularly interviewed across all ABC, SBS and NITV platforms, The Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Western Australia, WA Today and Indigenous media platforms.
Rachel Perkins | Director of Cultural Heritage
Rachel Perkins, an Arrernte and Kalkanoon woman from Alice Springs, is widely known and celebrated for being at the forefront of the Australian filmmaking industry. Her body of work as a screenwriter, producer, director, board member and festival director embodies her passion and skill in bringing Indigenous stories to the screen worldwide.
Daughter of activist Charlie Perkins and his wife Eileen, Rachel’s Aboriginal Heritage has informed her entire career, from filming making where as an awarded Director she is lauded for her extensive contribution to the development of Indigenous filmmakers in Australia and more broadly to the Australian film and television industry, to her position today as Director of Culture Heritage for the National Native Title Council and First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance.
In 2023 Rachel is co-chair of the Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Ltd (AICR), a key fundraising and organising vehicle in the campaign for constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.
Clinton Benjamin | Director of Native Title
Clinton belongs to the Yawuru, Bardi and Kija people from the Kimberley region of Western Australia and is based in Rubibi (Broome).
Having completed a Juris Doctor from Melbourne Law School, he is passionate about ensuring Indigenous demands for self-determination are met through practical and meaningful ways for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
Much of Clinton’s legal scholarly work explores how the Australian legal system has responded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander assertions of sovereignty. Prior to joining the NNTC as a Senior Advisor in December 2021, Clinton was a consultant who worked closely with Indigenous communities throughout Australia and helped deliver projects with clients and stakeholders across all levels of Government, corporate and the not-for-profit sectors.
Dr Belinda Burbidge | Chief Operations Officer
Belinda joined the NNTC in 2020 as the Director of Policy. Previously, Belinda was a Research Fellow and Acting Director in the Native Title Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Belinda holds a PhD from The University of Sydney and a Master and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. Belinda has over 15 years’ experience in the academic and applied research sectors, including native title work in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. Additionally, Belinda has worked as a lecturer in anthropology at The University of Sydney and a research consultant for Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) in central Australia. Belinda’s policy and research interests include supporting First Nations self-determination and nation (re)building through native title post-determination governance, economic development in the transitional and renewables economies, agreement-making and rights to land and waters.
Carolyn Betts | Senior Executive Officer
Carolyn is the Senior Executive Officer and has been with the NNTC since 2007, just after the organisation was formally incorporated. Carolyn provides executive support to the Board of Directors and assists in the development of submissions to the government’s legislative and policy reform agenda. Carolyn has a Post-Graduate degree in international relations and is based in an office hosted by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council in Cannington, Western Australia.
Austin Sweeney | Director of Legal Policy
Austin Sweeney joined the NNTC in September 2018 as the Director of Legal Policy. He has qualifications in law and economics and started his career working in commercial law. He first worked on land rights and native title matters as a lawyer with the Central Land Council in the 1990s. He has subsequently worked on legal and policy issues as a consultant or lawyer for Native Title Representative Bodies in Victoria and Queensland, and for also for ORIC and AIATSIS.
Emily Robinson | Executive Officer
Emily is a proud Gunai-Gunditjmara woman from the South East and South West of Victoria. Based in Naarm (Melbourne), Emily joined the team in October 2018. Prior to working at the National Native Title Council, Emily spent 8 years working at First Nations Legal and Research Services (FNLRS) as a Community Liaison Officer, working closely with Traditional Owner Groups and PBCs.
Tom Widdup | Executive Officer – Cultural Heritage
Tom Widdup was born and raised on beautiful Bundjalung country in NSW. Tom joined the NNTC as Executive Officer – Cultural Heritage; Secretariat, First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance in August 2021. In his prior role, for over a decade Tom worked as a campaigner with Oxfam in Australia and the Netherlands focusing on Indigenous rights, tackling poverty, tax justice, gender rights and climate justice.
Tom was a founding member of the Close the Gap campaign in 2007 and played an active role in campaigning for Indigenous health equality. Tom was part of the delegation to UNESCO that successfully lobbied for the creation of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
Dan Kelly | Strategic Policy Adviser
Dan Kelly joined the National Native Title Council in a consultancy capacity in 11 October 2021 as Strategic Policy Adviser.
He is also a Principal at Redgum Legal & Consulting an independent legal and consulting practice, providing high-quality legal and advisory services to government departments, proponents and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations on select human rights and public interest matters. Dan also works as Director for Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights Ltd.
Since 2021, his work has focussed on Aboriginal agreement-making and corporate governance, native title, land rights, and developing treaty processes. Previously Dan worked as General Counsel for the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations and as a Managing Lawyer for First Nations for Legal and Research Services.
Anirudha Nagar | Senior Legal Policy Adviser
Anirudha joined the NNTC in 2021 as a Senior Legal Policy Adviser and brings international legal experience from diverse jurisdictions. Previously, he was the Communities Director at Accountability Counsel, where he supported Indigenous communities across South Asia negotiate better social and environmental outcomes with the proponents and investors of development projects.
Anirudha has also worked at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, advocating for victims of police brutality, and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, advising the Chief Prosecutor on international law and procedure. He holds degrees in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
Dr Matthew Storey | Legal Adviser
Dr Matthew Storey is the Legal Principal & Director of Storey & Ward and solicitor who has worked with and for Traditional Owners in the areas of native title and land rights, cultural heritage, business development and natural resource management for over 25 years. He commenced consulting to the National Native Title Council as of March 2022, as an advisor to the Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Partnership Joint Working Group, Rachel Perkins.
From 2019 until early 2022 Matthew worked as Director of the Office of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council at the Victorian Department of Premier & Cabinet. Prior to that he had held the position of CEO at First Nations Legal and Research Services Ltd (formerly NTSV) from 2012 until 2019 and then as CEO of the National Native Title Council.
Before commencing at First Nations, Matthew lived in the Northern Territory for nearly 25 years. While there he worked in Aboriginal land rights for many years as a Senior Crown Law Officer with the Solicitor for the Northern Territory. While working for Aboriginal Legal Aid in the NT he was the instructing solicitor in a number of the Northern Territory “Stolen Generations” cases. He also worked as Associate Professor and Head of Law at the Territory’s Charles Darwin University, during which time he was an active member of the Council of Australian Law Deans.
Sarah Easson | Head of Media Relations
Sarah commenced with NNTC as a Media Consultant in July 2021 before being offered a full time role in September 2022 as Head of Media Relations.
Prior to this, within the Indigenous space she contracted to the likes of Ebony Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Institute, Grace Lillian Lee and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, in a PR, event management, social media and marketing capacity.
Bringing a wealth of experience as a communications specialist with an extensive professional network, throughout her career Sarah has also worked for the world’s most recognisable brands in fashion, art, performance art, magazines, fine jewellery, and beauty.
Jasmine Yarran | Senior Governance Officer
Jasmine is a proud Ballardong Whadjuk woman from the Noongar mob in Western Australia. Based in the Perth office on Whadjuk Boodja, Jasmine joined the National Native Title Council as a Senior Governance Officer.
Jasmine has previously worked in Governance roles at the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporations and First Nations Legal and Research Services where she worked closely with PBC organisations and Native Title Groups in Victoria. In these roles she also worked with various Boards, Committees and Working Groups. Most recently, Jasmine worked in a Governance role at the First People’s’ Assembly of Victoria, where she worked closely with the elected Assembly members through various committees and full chamber meetings, providing support across the whole Assembly.
Chelsie Collard | Policy Officer
Chelsie, a Noongar woman living and working on Gadigal Country (Sydney), joined NNTC in 2023. Chelsie has recently completed a Bachelor of Social Science with a major in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. Prior to joining NNTC, Chelsie worked with ANTAR as a research officer advocating for First Nations rights, justice, and respect. During her role at ANTAR, Chelsie developed her skills in writing submissions to government, blogs, and participating in consultations.
Debby Lovett | National Training Manager
Debby is a proud Gunditjmara and Boandik woman from South West Victoria, currently living on Wada wurrung Country. Before joining the NNTC in April 2023, Debby worked in the AFL for 7 years in Community Engagement and training. Debby has worked for State, Local and Commonwealth government throughout her career, including a number of stints in local Aboriginal Community organisations.
Loise Wells | Senior Policy Adviser
Loise first joined the NNTC as a Senior Legal Policy Adviser in 2021. She has extensive experience in native title law and policy across several jurisdictions. She previously worked as a lawyer at the Central Land Council and Kimberley Land Council where she focused on joint management of national parks, exploration and mining negotiations and tribunal proceedings, agreement making, and PBC governance. She has also worked as a legal and policy adviser at the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations and in native title operations. Loise has a particular interest in water rights and renewables.
In addition to her work in native title, Loise is a former director of Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights and has interned with the United Nations in the Office of the International Co-Prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia.
Rashin Eftekhari | Executive Assistant
Rashin Eftekhari hails from Tehran, Iran where she studied management at Tehran Economic Sciences Faculty. Upon graduating Rashin spent 5 years working as an EA for the multinational German Engineering and Technology company Bosch.
Moving to Perth in 2023, Rashin immediately saw parallels to life in Tehran and that of Aboriginal people since colonialism. This has motivated her to learn as much as possible about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture to become a strong advocate for First Nations Peoples rights in Australia.