The Central Land Council is hosting the largest gathering of directors of native title holder corporations in Central Australia this week.

The Prescribed Bodies Corporate Regional Forum at the Ross River Resort near Alice Springs, better known as PBC Camp, aims to strengthen the capacity of around 100 directors to run more than 30 corporations.

The event will kick off tomorrow with the launch and trial of six local Aboriginal language recordings of the CLC’s Native Title Story booklet.

The audio versions of the educational resource aim to overcome literacy and language barriers to understanding one of the most complex pieces of legislation in Australia, the Native Title Act.

“This is the first time something like this has been done in our region,” CLC chief executive Lesley Turner said.

“Having information in local languages on USB sticks will help native title holders when they negotiate about developments such as mining and horticulture on cattle stations and manage land use agreements,” he said.

The booklet on which the translations are based was presented at the first PBC Camp in 2019.

Jackie Mahoney with the Native Title Story booklet at PBC Camp 2019

It explains key native title concepts and compares them with land rights, two very different laws people frequently confuse.

It has attracted praise around the nation and was adapted by organisations such as the Kimberley Land Council.

The CLC is seeking funding to develop a phone app with language translations to help more native title holders to find out about their legal rights and obligations in their languages.

“It’s about empowering Aboriginal people to take part in decisions about their country and cutting through the legalese,” the CLC’s manager of native title, Francine McCarthy, said.

CLC staff and consultants will be supported by staff of the National Native Title Council, the National Indigenous Australians Agency and the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

A prescribed body corporate is an Aboriginal corporation that manages the native title rights and interests on behalf of native title holders.

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