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Native Title Officer Funding Scheme

The Native Title Officer Funding Scheme aims to facilitate efficient and effective resolution of native title claims.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be peak industry bodies or other organisations that employ, or are seeking to employ, native title officers (NTO) to assist respondents in the resolution of native title claims.

Funding will be a contribution towards salary costs for native title officers.

Native title officers may be engaged on a full-time or part-time basis and their role may form part of a larger role within the organisation. Applications will not be accepted from individuals (including consultants), law firms, sole practitioners or consulting firms.

Funding is not provided for:

  • retrospective costs
  • non-native title officer work
  • administrative expenses, including the ongoing or running costs of an organisation—eg general operation, secretariat or support expenses
  • costs incurred in dealing with the department in relation to the application or grant, or
  • costs incurred in relation to activities which are already funded, or significantly funded, by the Commonwealth.

Funding under the scheme is administered through a competitive, merit-based grants process. Applications are considered on their merits, and are assessed in accordance with the scheme objective and selection criteria set out in the Native Title (Assistance from Attorney-General) Guidelines 2012.

How to apply

The 2019-20 round of the Native Title Officer Funding Scheme opens on 1 April 2019 and closes on 30 April 2019. This round will cover funding for the grant period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

Application forms are available on the GrantConnect website.

Applications must be accompanied by:

  • a proposed NTO duty statement
  • documents to evidence your organisation's ability to match Commonwealth funding, for example, evidence of the proposed native title officer's annual salary or work arrangements
  • most recent annual financial statement (if exceptional circumstances apply) setting out annual income from all sources, total value of all assets and total balance of all savings/shares.

The department has developed a sample duty statement to assist in the preparation of your application:

The duty statement document is indicative only. Grant applicants must design a duty statement that reflects the needs of their organisation and its members. The specific duties proposed for the native title officer must be added to your application for funding. If your application is successful, you will need to report against the duties at the end of the funding period.

Completed applications can be emailed to or posted to:

Assistant Secretary
Legal Assistance Branch
3-5 National Circuit

Applicants must answer all questions. Applications that contain partial or unanswered responses or which do not include the required supporting documentation will not be assessed. Late applications will not be accepted.

More information about the Native Title Officer Funding Scheme is also detailed in the following fact sheet:

Grant specifics

A condition of funding is that the grant applicants must match Commonwealth funding on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.

A total of $200 000 is available each financial year under this scheme. Grants may be approved to a maximum of $50 000 per organisation per year.

Successful grant applicants are required to enter into a funding agreement with the department.

For more information about the scheme, email or call 1800 117 995.

Contact details