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National Native Title Tribunal - President

Information about the National Native Title Tribunal

The National Native Title Tribunal (the Tribunal) is a national independent statutory body constituted under the Native Title Act 1993 (the Act). The Tribunal comprises a President, Members, and a Native Title Registrar, all of whom are appointed by the Governor-General. The statutory office-holders of the Tribunal each have separate and specific functions and responsibilities to perform under the Act.

The Tribunal has a wide range of functions under the Act. The Tribunal works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as non-Indigenous parties in carrying out the functions of the Tribunal. The principal work of the Tribunal involves mediating and arbitrating disputes over certain proposed future acts (such as the grant of a mining lease) in native title areas, as well as mediating native title claims referred by the Federal Court of Australia. The Tribunal assists parties to negotiate Indigenous Land Use Agreements and resolve native title disputes, and assists representative bodies to perform their own dispute resolution functions. Following the commencement of the Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Cth), the Tribunal has an additional new function of assisting in dispute management and resolution at the request of native title holders and Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate. The Tribunal also conducts inquiries into issues connected with native title claims, and contributes to community liaison and education around native title.

The Tribunal has a staff of 64 located across offices in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Cairns. The position can be based in either Brisbane or Perth. The 2022-23 Budget for the Tribunal is $8,172,004.

Further information about the Tribunal may be obtained from the Tribunal's website.

Role of the President

The Government is looking for a dynamic and collaborative President with vision and cultural competence to lead the work of the Tribunal and its Members for the next five years. The President is responsible for the management of the business of the Tribunal, including its administrative affairs and the allocation of duties, powers and functions. The President has oversight of the development of strategies and procedures for Tribunal-wide application. The President has an important role in establishing and maintaining strategic relationships with key stakeholders and representative bodies, and makes public appearances on behalf of the Tribunal. Alongside the Tribunal’s Native Title Registrar and Members, the President also participates in the work program of the Tribunal performing the functions of a Member, including arbitral, mediation and educational functions. The President is assisted by the CEO and Principal Registrar of the Federal Court. The full responsibilities of the President are set out in the Act.


Section 109 of the Act provides that to be eligible for appointment as President of the Tribunal, a person must:

  • be a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, or
  • a former judge, or
  • a person who is, and has been for at least five years, enrolled as a legal practitioner of the High Court, another federal court or the Supreme Court of a State or Territory.

Applicants must have, or be able to hold, a baseline security clearance. To be eligible for an Australian Government security clearance, you must be an Australian citizen and have a checkable background.

Selection Criteria

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria under section 109 of the Act (set out above), to be successful in the role you will need to:

  • demonstrate knowledge, understanding or experience of the Act (including the future acts regime under the Act) to effectively perform the statutory functions of President of the Tribunal
  • demonstrate and commit to a practice of cultural competence, particularly as it relates to First Nations people and communities
  • meet the following selection criteria consistent with the APSC Merit and Transparency Guidelines for APS statutory office holder appointments:
    • Demonstrates high level leadership and vision
      • sets a strategic vision and inspires others to achieve this
      • innovative in dealing with issues
      • articulates a clear direction for their organisation
    • Manages large and/or complex operations
      • achieves results within the context of organisational and/or Government policy
      • strong people management skills
      • strong financial management, ensuring efficient, effective and ethical use of resources
      • understanding of and commitment to quality organisational governance
    • Works with others to meet objectives
      • operates collaboratively with others to meet organisational objectives
      • cultivates productive relationships
      • listens to people and values different perspectives
    • High level of judgement
    • Demonstrates a high standard of professional and personal integrity and capacity to promote these in an organisation.

People who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander are strongly encouraged to apply.

Terms and conditions

The successful applicant will be appointed as President on a full-time basis for a period of up to five years. The position can be based in the Brisbane or Perth office. Remuneration and allowances for the position are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. Remuneration Tribunal (Judicial and Related Offices – Remuneration and Allowances) 2022 is the current determination. It can be viewed on the Remuneration Tribunal website.

How to apply

Applications must include:

  • an expression of interest, of no more than 4 pages, including a statement of claims against the eligibility and selection criteria as outlined
  • a resume, of no more than 6 pages, including full particulars of qualifications, experience and expertise
  • the names and contact details of two referees who have direct and relevant experience of the applicant’s work. Applicants will be notified prior to referees being contacted.

Applications should be emailed to by 5.00pm (AEDT) on Friday, 9 December 2022.


Enquiries about the position or application can be emailed to

Assessment process

Applicants will be initially assessed by a panel on their written application. Shortlisted applicants will be further assessed by the panel at interview.


All advice and communication will be sent to applicants via email. Please ensure the email address provided is correct.