FSC releases native title standard for trustees

Members of the FSC who act as trustees of native title trusts will be bound by a new standard that aims to build strong partnerships between trustees and indigenous communities.

The standard, known as the Cultural Capability in Native Title Services Standard, was released yesterday as part of National Reconciliation week.

A group of indigenous leaders and organisations, including the First Nations Foundation (FNF), Indigenous Business Australia, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, and Nyamba Buru Yawuru from Broome, WA, worked in partnership with the FSC’s trustee members to develop the standard.

According to the FSC, its development drew on the diverse background and skill sets of working group members including in native title, governance, cultural capability and professional trusteeship.

“The FSC’s members often act as professional trustees of native title trusts and help to manage the funds in those trusts in the best interests of Indigenous communities," Sally Loane, FSC CEO said.

“The Standard also helps with capacity and knowledge gaps on both sides. It requires trustees to undergo their own processes, including ensuring staff who work with communities undertake cultural competency training; partnering with communities to gain an understanding of their cultural values, histories and aspirations; and working towards establishing a formal strategy to develop cultural capability, for instance, through a Reconciliation Action Plan," Ms Loane said.

FNF chairperson Ian Hamm added that, “as a result of native title we are seeing the emergence of the next stage of the journey for Indigenous people".

“The Standard allows for greater transparency and accountability when dealing with native title recipients. This is a major step forward for industry in building confidence and self-determination for Indigenous people."

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