From 1994 to 2000 Tom was employed as a historian with the Native Title Unit of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (South Australia) where he carried out historical and ethnographic research for the De Rose Hill native title claim, amongst others. As a member of the LocuSAR team he coordinated the documentary and family history research in the Gawler Rages native title claim. Tom has also worked as an historical consultant for native title representative bodies (NTRBs) including the Central Land Council (NT), Ngaanyatjarra Council and Central Desert Native Title Services (WA). Since 2010 Mr Gara has been employed as a Senior Research Officer in the Native Title Section of the Crown Solicitor’s Office (South Australia) where he has undertaken detailed historical research for the Crown in a number of native title claims. Tom has experience giving expert evidence in the Federal Court of Australia.
Tom Gara has also participated in work area clearances, site surveys and community liaison. He has long standing relationships with Kaurna, Kokatha, Mirning and Wirangu people and the Yalata/Maralinga community. He has published number of papers on the post-contact history of Adelaide and Aboriginal history more generally. In 2015 Tom Gara was awarded the Life-long History Achievement Award by the History Council of South Australia.