Native Title Research

Throughout both 2022 and 2023, Trace Enterprises was approached to perform anthropological research and site registration for the purposes of an ongoing native title claim. We were happy to perform this research on a pro-bono basis, in accordance with our core values of morality and integrity. At Trace, we firmly believe in the rights of Traditional Owners to their land, and therefore felt privileged to aid in a small part, in the native title process.


Goldfields, Western Australia





Two of our anthropologists were lucky to visit and record a series of sites for registration on the WA

Department of Planning, Lands, and Heritage’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Inquiry System database.

In accordance with best practice, this recording involved interviews, analysis of site material against

archaeological frameworks, archival research, and drone documentation. It is partly through

recording of such sites that allow demonstrations of Traditional Owner’s ongoing connection to their

country. This demonstration is required by native title legislation and is often a focal point of court

proceedings. By documenting traditional owners’ knowledge and custodianship of these sites, Trace

was able to help strengthen their documented connection to country.

In addition to performing these site registrations, Trace also conducted broader historical and

genealogical research. The anthropologists created genealogies providing the traditional owners

with proof of their familial ties to their country. Archival research and literature reviews also enabled

Trace to verify contemporary cultural knowledge against historic anthropological sources, and in

some instances, provide lost information back to community.

The Trace team’s endeavours, as a small part of a larger community effort, were ultimately

successful in the eyes of the traditional owners. For us, this standard of measure is the most

important. With experience spreading from Western Australia to Queensland, the Northern

Territory, and New South Wales, the Trace anthropology team is well versed in working alongside

traditional owners to achieve positive outcomes. Above all, the Trace team listens, and is guided by

the opinions and knowledge of the Traditional Owners. We see ourselves as a tool for their use –

wholly collaborative, whilst retaining the utmost standards of heritage.


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