Native Title claims for areas in the South East of South Australia have been approved by community members and lodged by SA Native Title Services (SANTS).

The First Nations of the South East Claim #1 and #2 cover areas near Keith to the coast and across to the Victorian border, including the towns of Mount Gambier, Penola and Lakes Bonney, George and Eliza.

Native title holders are held to be First Nations of the South East people under traditional law and customs and descendants of particular people who lived in that area.

The claim was authorised at a meeting in Mount Gambier and lodged on 4 August 2017.

SA Native Title Services CEO Keith Thomas welcomed the authorisation and lodging of the claim.

“They’ve been waiting a long time, there have been limited resources available to prepare this application” he said.

“I congratulate that community and am pleased that the process to have their native title recognised has begun” said Mr Thomas

SANTS Senior Anthropologist Robert Graham will prepare a Native Title report as required by the court.

The claims are now awaiting registration by the Federal Court. The First Nations of the South East Claim #2 has some parts which overlap the existing Ngarrindjeri and Others Native Title Claim.

That overlap area has been excised from the Ngarrindjeri Claim and mediation has commenced, as the Ngarrindjeri Claim is heading for a Consent Determination in coming months.

“The lodging of this claim marks significant progress in the resolution of native title across the state” Mr Thomas said.

“This is a large claim area and leaves only some small areas of the state yet to be subject to claim” he said.

Full details of the claims are on the National Native Title Register: 

First Nations of the South East #1 (SC2017/002)

First Nations of the South East #2 (SC2017/001)

View area on Native Title Vision interactive map:

First Nations of the South East #1


SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.