The long-term success of native title hinges on the ability of younger generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to carry forward the rights and interests hard-won by their elders. Yet little is known about the experiences, ambitions and views of young native title claimants and holders. Do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people feel prepared to assume leadership positions? And what are the unique challenges they face?
Bhiamie and Stacey will present the finding of the Youth Engagement in Native Title pilot research project. Through interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 18-35, a number of key trends emerged that are critical to engaging young leaders:
- Connection to Country and culture
- Access and distribution of native title knowledge and information
- Active and ongoing support and mentorship
We will discuss these emerging trends as well as additional barriers to participation faced by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and consider future priorities for registered native title bodies corporate, and the research and the wider Indigenous community sectors.
This seminar will finish with reflection on new initiatives to engage and support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into leadership and decision making roles. This includes the Youth Forum at the National Native Title Conference and the Indigenous Youth in Governance Masterclass. Considering the research findings as well as these new initiatives reveals a number of critical areas that require urgent investment in order to foster and champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.
Bhiamie Williamson is a Euahlayi Man from north-west New South Wales with family ties to north-west Queensland. In 2014, Bhiamie graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from the Fenner School of Environment and Society. In 2017, Bhiamie graduated from the Masters of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In 2018, Bhiamie completed a Professional Studies Certificate in Indigenous Governance from the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona in the United States. Bhiamie is a Research Associate and PhD candidate at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU. His PhD investigates Aboriginal Men and Masculinities in Australia.
Stacey Little holds Bachelor degrees in Arts and Law from the Australian National University and is a Senior Research Officer in the Native Title Research Unit at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She has worked in native title since 2014, with a focus on compensation models; youth experiences; engagement and succession models; community control of native title materials; governance; and native title jurisprudence. Stacey is a lead researcher on the Indigenous Youth in Governance and Political Processes project.