APY Land Rights Act 1981 celebrated at Kulilaya Festival

The 40th anniversary of the historic Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Land Rights Act has been acknowledged during the long-awaited Kulilaya Festival at Umuwa.

The event took place on March 24, after facing delays due to the outbreak of COVID, and saw musicians, visual artists and performers present their history and stories through song and dance to commemorate the occasion.

Since putting ink to paper on the self-determining APY Lands Act in 1981, Anangu have held freehold title ownership of their Country, returning the right of self-governance and allowing Traditional Owners to determine how their land is managed.

The Act was one of the first to be granted in Australia and remains a unique example of freehold title negotiated between Traditional Owners and the SA government.

Aboriginal Way attended Kulilaya Festival and recorded interviews with SA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Kyam Maher, Greens Senator Tammy Franks, APY General Manager Richard King, SA Health’s Director of Aboriginal Public Health, Damien Shen, APY head of maintenance, Daniel Omenzetter and multimedia archivists John and Dora Dallwitz.