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Supporting First Nations Communities

Supporting First Nations Communities

Supporting Indigenous Communities through Native Title

Create a Native Title trust that works for you and your community long into the future.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, investing Native Title funds through a Native Title trust helps ensure their money benefits the whole community, now and in the future.

The trust structure enables funds to be distributed fairly and sustainably. It helps ensure the money is used to deliver the outcomes most sought by the community. Whether that’s health, education, self-sufficiency, cultural preservation or to drive future financial independence via training, business or property ownership or on-country development.

As one of Australia’s most experienced trustees and investment managers, Perpetual can help your community manage money and administer the trust. Most importantly our approach is always based on listening to and acting on community needs.


Communities that shape the lives of their members

First Nations communities in Australia shape and change the lives of their members. Amongst the communities Perpetual works with we find common hopes – and it is these aspirations that drive the success of the communities and of the people who live in them.



Working with communities

The most important outcome of having a well-structured Native Title trust, good investment management and deep community involvement is the tangible benefits it brings to communities. Here are just a few examples from some of the communities Perpetual has worked with.

Community impact


Walking beside you on your journey


Perpetual provides a wide range of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Those services are tailored to the needs of each community. Perpetual also works closely with other stakeholders – government, business, Aboriginal Corporations, NGOs, NFPs and philanthropists – to deliver for communities.


A trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee agrees to hold and manage assets for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries).

The community is the heart of a Native Title trust. Indeed, Native Title trusts are designed to put control in the hands of your whole community, rather than individuals. At Perpetual we make sure the community stays in control.

In some communities Perpetual works with, elected representatives from the community who decide how the community benefit from their Native Title trust.

Other communities set up an advisory council made up of members elected by the community, who work with the trustee to plan and budget for the trust. You can also act as your own trustee with representatives of the community in control of all aspects of the trust. (This can be more expensive than working with a professional trustee and is complex to maintain over time).

Whatever approach is decided on, the key is that the design and management of the trust is tuned to achieving your community’s goals:

  • We work with you to design a trust management plan based on your community's priorities, goals and vision. This becomes the long-term strategy for the trust.
  • Perpetual is responsible and accountable for the complex and time-consuming legal, accounting and administrative duties of a trustee.
  • We help communities structure their trust to suit their needs. A full-service Native Title trust is typically set up by communities with large sums to manage. For communities managing smaller funds, Perpetual’s Native Title and Community Trust provides the same vital investment, trustee, distribution and compliance services – but with lower costs and easier admin.

Native Title trusts are designed to ensure all community assets – land, property, lease income etc. - are working to meet community needs and that the proceeds are distributed fairly and sustainably and in line with the rules laid down by the community (and the law).

It’s crucial that those assets are well-managed – that is, invested prudently and successfully. That means:

  • Invested to generate cashflow that can be distributed to meet the community members’ short-term needs.
  • Invested to grow over time – to counter the effects of inflation and, more importantly, to grow the capital base so the Trust can provide for community needs long into the future.
  • Invested in line with any ethical considerations important to the community.
  • Invested using a clear, carefully designed investment strategy that balances risk and return and is tuned to the needs of the community.

Perpetual is a large Australian investment manager. We invest money for individuals, businesses, superannuation funds, foreign investors and charities.

Our long-held investment philosophy – protect and grow – is ideally suited to investing for Indigenous communities. It is focused on protecting their hard-won capital, deploying it effectively in the community and growing that capital to fund communities’ long-term needs.

In addition to funding infrastructure and development – clinics, community facilities, cultural enrichment – Native Title trusts have an important role to play in supporting individual community members. They do this by funding vital services – everything from doctor and hospital fees, medical transport, educational grants – and much more.

This is important work, generating real benefits for community members. However, it is time consuming and complicated and there are a range of legal, ethical and sustainability concerns that need to be managed.

Our Executive Office team helps communities manage these important services (many of this team come from communities themselves). The payments team helps communities verify, reconcile and make these payments. The call centre is run by experienced staff with financial expertise and deep knowledge of Trust rules and law. This means all activities are managed efficiently, are fair and in line with the trust deed.

Meet the team

Pamela Kaye
Adrian Marshall
Trust Manager - Native Title
Pamela Kaye

Pamela Kaye


Pamela Kaye is a lawyer and chartered secretary with 18 years’ experience working with Aboriginal clients. She has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors company directors’ course. Pamela has oversight of Perpetual’s native title team and builds high performing teams.

She has a heart for community and is frequently asked to participate in difficult or controversial projects because she has broad experience, can think innovatively and deliver solutions. Pamela has significant management experience and has built broad community consent to controversial projects through structured systems of engagement. This has involved managing stakeholder engagement, government relations, mining projects, tenure and environmental approvals.

Pamela specialises in implementing complex governance structures to ensure that boards and advisory councils make informed decisions, based on professional advice, which are in accord with community goals and aspirations.

Adrian Marshall

Adrian Marshall

Trust Manager - Native Title

Adrian has extensive experience facilitating relationships between indigenous communities, the resources sector and government agencies. Adrian has a passion for social innovation in partnership with community leaders and brings a focus on governance and compliance.

He started his career with local government where he worked on a broad range of environmental projects, eventually leading the sustainability policy team at Adelaide City Council. Adrian also worked in the oil and gas industry where he coordinated the preparation of corporate social responsibility reports and oversaw a compliance program with native title and Aboriginal and cultural heritage agreements. Adrian also worked with the South Australian Department of Environment and Water where he coordinated the program for the co-management of national parks with traditional owners.

Adrian is based in Adelaide where he assists with the management of Perpetual’s South Australian and Northern Territory native title trust clients.

He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours, and a Master of Business Administration.


Helping build communities that make life better for their members

As a licensed trustee, Perpetual is accountable to the communities it serves and is also accountable to several regulatory bodies. That underpins the partnership with communities – but is only one of the reasons to partner with Perpetual:

  • We are one of Australia’s largest and most experienced trustees. Established in 1886, we have looked after some of our clients for over five generations.
  • We have a proven track record of protecting and growing money for our clients over the long term.
  • Most importantly, we have experience working closely with Aboriginal communities across Australia. We have a dedicated Native Title trusts and Investments team and work with over 15 Aboriginal community clients across South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.


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Perpetual Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2021 - 2023

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this (publication / website / video etc.) may contain the (images / voices / names) of people who have passed away. Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This webpage contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider, with a financial or other adviser, whether the information is suitable for your circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. To view the Perpetual Group's Financial Services Guide, please click here. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided in good faith. This information, including any assumptions and conclusions is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of relevant practice or law that is often complex and can change. This article may contain information contributed by third parties. PTCo do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information contributed by a third party. Any views expressed in this article are opinions of the author at the time of writing and do not constitute a recommendation to act. No company in the Perpetual Group (Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 and its subsidiaries) guarantees the performance of any fund or the return of an investor’s capital. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.