“People, Place and Partnership”: A model for leveraging and governing native title

Terry Ngamandarra Wilson, Gulach (detail), painting on bark, private collection © Terry Ngamandarra, licensed by Viscopy, 2016
Terry Ngamandarra Wilson, Gulach (detail), painting on bark, private collection © Terry Ngamandarra, licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Please click here for zoom recording.



Traditional Owner groups within Queensland South Native Title Services’ (QSNTS) expansive service region have fought, and continue to fight, an excruciating battle to have their native title rights and interests recognised by the Federal Court. Where successful, these rights and interests are recognised in rem, forever, and Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) are the bodies incorporated to hold these rights and interests, also effectively forever.

But what comes next? Beyond recognition, how do native title rights and interests manifest as opportunities and lasting benefits to Traditional Owners to match their in rem status, and particularly when, as in the case of many of the determinations within QSNTS’s region (and beyond), the rights and interests recognised are non-exclusive? These are the questions being put to QSNTS by our client base.

QSNTS’s response has been the development of our People Place & Partnership (PPP) framework, a rights-based, strengths-focused approach towards nation building. Sans substantial income streams to Traditional Owner groups; insufficient Commonwealth funding to PBCs, and through an internal refocusing of skillsets, and by partnering with key institutions, QSNTS has a vision and developing practice for Walking with Traditional Owners to implement native title rights and interests towards the realisation of beneficial, sustainable outcomes. The seminar concludes with some reflections on policy and practice implications


Felicity Thiessen commenced working with QSNTS as a lawyer in 2017 and was appointed as Chief Operating Officer in 2019. Prior to studying law, Felicity completed an Arts degree at the University of Queensland, with a Double Major in Anthropology. Felicity has held positions with a number of Commonwealth entities including the Federal Court of Australia and the National Native Title Tribunal.

Date & time

Wed 03 Nov 2021, 12–1.30pm




Felicity Thiessen, Chief Operating Officer, Queensland South Native Title Services


Tracy Deasey
02 61252053


Updated:  9 November 2021/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications