Native Title student fieldwork placements

Are you completing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology this year and interested in exploring a career in native title? Would you like to travel and get hands-on experience doing fieldwork? If so, then a Centre for Native Title Anthropology (CNTA) Native Title Student Fieldwork Placement may be what you are looking for.

The Centre for Native Title Anthropology (CNTA) at the Australian National University was established in 2010 with funding provided by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department. Located in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology within the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, CNTA aims to provide training, support and career development opportunities to anthropologists interested in native title practice.

As part of our programs, the CNTA is offering three Native Title student fieldwork placements to enable 3rd year Anthropology students to gain direct experience of native title fieldwork under the mentorship of a senior native title anthropologist.

Placements are available through:

  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Queensland
  • La Trobe University


Placements are designed to expose students to a range of research methods and skills in preparation for employment within the native title sector. Students will have an opportunity to gain practical experience in areas such as:

  • The planning and preparation for fieldwork
  • Management of fieldwork logistics
  • Working to a specific brief and within a limited timeframe
  • Framing fieldwork objective to meet the legal requirements of native title research
  • The use of GPS equipment
  • Recording of genealogies and sites
  • Basic interviewing skills
  • and the post-fieldwork management of research data.

These are volunteer placements. However, up to $5,000 is available per student to assist with travel, accommodation, meals and other associated costs. The allocation and timing of Placements will be determined by the availability of both the student and the senior native title anthropologist but should take place during the June/July university holidays.

Previous fieldwork destinations have included:

  • Cape York
  • The Pilbara
  • Arnhem Land
  • Torres Strait
  • The Kimberley
  • and remote parts of the Central Desert

The role of the student placement

Successful applicants will be placed with a senior native title anthropologist for a period of up to 3 weeks, at least 2 weeks of which will be dedicated to fieldwork. The student will be required to assist with a range of research tasks as directed. Fieldwork duties may include:

  • General camp maintenance
  • Off-road driving
  • Note-taking and recording of genealogies
  • Site recording
  • and preparation of meals

Non-fieldwork duties may include:

  • Desktop and archival research
  • Database maintenance
  • Word processing and other administrative tasks

Students will be required to comply with confidentiality arrangements negotiated with the supervising anthropologist, host organisation and Aboriginal collaborators.

Selection criteria and how to apply