Governance & representation

Voice to Parliament

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced the formation of the Co-Design Senior Advisory Group for the Voice to Parliament in November 2019.

The purpose of the co-design process is to enhance local and regional decision-making and provide a voice for Indigenous Australians to government. The Senior Advisory Group then formed a National Co-Design Group and a Local/Regional Co-Design Group to ensure broad consultation and input.

The NNTC’s CEO, Jamie Lowe, is a member of the National Co-Design Group and working on developing options and models for a national voice as part of a two-stage process of development and engagement.

The NNTC is examining a Traditional Owner led model of national representation that recognises Traditional Owner groups as individual nations with the right to self-determination, and the right to govern and represent their own people with cultural authority.

Read more about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament


PBC Policy reform: nation-building

Over the next few years, it is anticipated that there will be around 300 Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) covering approximately 60 per cent of Australia’s land mass. PBCs are currently incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and have obligations under the Native Title Act 1993. PBC governance is restricted by this legal framework and can make it difficult for First Nations groups to govern their communities inline with their own laws and customs.

The PBC Policy Reform project is a two year project in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and aims to work closely with PBCs in designing a policy framework that explores options for PBCs beyond CATSI Act incorporation to nation building, cultural and regional governance.

This reform package has principles of First Nations self-determination and autonomy at the heart of it and will provide PBCs with a pathway forward through the complex cultural, legal and policy spaces that PBCs operate in and make decisions about.

The first steps of the project are:

  • Developing a communications and engagement strategy to best work with PBCs on policy design
  • Addressing the role of PBCs and native title groups in regional and national representation

For further information about the project, please contact Belinda Burbidge at


See our Discussion Paper – Regional and national representation: A Traditional Owner led model