Ruby Cray

Social Science
Native Title
Winter 2016

The research I was involved in during my 5 week internship in the policy department with Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV) who provide secretariat support to the Federation of Victoria Traditional Owner Corporations (FVTOC) gave me a greater understanding of issues more specifically within a Victorian context, including the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 and what this means for Victorian Traditional Owner groups. 

Whilst at NTSV I worked independently and focused on researching a biodiversity position paper in response to a draft biodiversity plan released by the Victorian government. I explored topics such as fire management, traditional ecological knowledge, traditional and cultural uses of biodiversity and economic development in relation to natural resource management. I was also able to attend meetings with a huge variety of people: Traditional Owners, anthropologists, lawyers and Victorian government. This gave me a feel for professional workplaces and I was able to gain insights into the issues in the native title space within Victoria through conversations with a wide range of people about the work they do. 

In the last few days of my internship I attended an economic development conference run by the National Native Title Council (NNTC) and NTSV. Hearing from various speakers (including Marcia Langton) and participating in a group workshop made clear to me the importance of a sound economic base for Indigenous organisations and wider communities in order to reach their full potential. 

My internship with NTSV was rewarding and I was able to directly see where my work was contributing. NSTV staff made me feel welcome by providing advice about career pathways and I learnt a lot from the excellent conversations I had with people there.