SANTS News – May 2023

Monthly native title updates

Nauo people granted native title over Coffin Bay and its surrounds

After 25 years, the Nauo people have received native title over 7,951 square kilometres of land on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The Federal Court of Australia presented the Aboriginal nation with their native title determination at a special hearing at Coffin Bay in May, following their first determination in February.

The area includes towns and parks such as Palkagee, Mount Joy, Coolillie, Polda, Sheringa, Kiana, Mitchell, Kapinnie, Coulta, Wangary, Coffin Bay, Coffin Bay National Park, and Lincoln National Park.

Congratulations to the Nauo people on this historic occasion.

Watch ABC’s video about the native title determination

Mid Murray Mallee Aboriginal Corporation sign their first Cultural Heritage Agreement

In May, the Mid Murray Mallee Aboriginal Corporation, on behalf of the First Peoples of the River Murray & Mallee Region #2 native title claim group, signed a Cultural Heritage Agreement with Robertstown Project (Solar) Operations Pty Ltd.

The power company plans to build a solar farm at Robertstown, within the First Peoples’ native title claim area. The agreement will protect the Traditional Owners’ cultural heritage in the development area and foster collaboration with the developer — respecting the past and embracing the future.

Check out the latest Aboriginal Way 

Issue 90 is out now, featuring these stories and more:

• Native title wins on Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas
• Proposed changes to the constitution
• Kaurna program & Reconciliation Garden at Upper Sturt Primary School
• A tribute to Yunupiŋu, a lifelong warrior for Aboriginal rights

Want to receive a digital or print edition straight to your email or letterbox? 

Subscribe here | Read online

South Australia’s First Nations Voice to Parliament

On Sunday 26 March 2023, the South Australian Parliament passed the First Nations Voice Bill 2023.

The Act establishes Australia’s first Voice to Parliament for First Nations people in South Australia. It will not impinge the voice or cultural authority of native title holders and claimants – who can also nominate themselves to be part of the local and/or First Nations Voice.

The SA First Nations Voice will be a connected, direct and independent line of communication for First Nations people to South Australia’s parliament and the government, to allow important, shared communication by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia. But how will it work?

Local First Nations Voice

The local First Nations Voices will be established through elections.

All elected members will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia. They will be elected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in the region.

These elected members will represent the voices of First Nations people at the local community level.

Each local First Nations Voice will choose 2 joint presiding members to lead each local Voice.

Local First Nations Voice Regions

South Australia’s local First Nations Voice will be made up of 6 regions across South Australia.

The regions are:

Region 1 (Central) – 11 elected members (due to the higher population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this region)
Region 2 (Far North) – 7 elected members
Region 3 (Flinders and Upper North) – 7 elected members
Region 4 (Riverland and South East) – 7 elected members
Region 5 (West and West Coast) – 7 elected members
Region 6 (Yorke and Mid-North) – 7 elected members.

Please see the regions map below provided by the SA government.

State First Nations Voice

The two joint presiding members of each local First Nations Voice will make up the state First Nations Voice membership, making a total of 12 people on the state Voice.

The state First Nations Voice will hear views from each local Voice and form state-wide positions that represent the diversity of First Nations people in South Australia.

The state Voice will present those views to the South Australian parliament, ministers and government chief executives.

First Nations Voice Election – September 2023

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia will be able to vote in the inaugural First Nations Voice election on Saturday, 9 September 2023.

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and living in South Australia, make sure you are on South Australia’s electoral roll. This is an important step to take before the first election, and you have until 2 August to update your details.

First Nations People wishing to nominate for their local Voice will be able to do so between 17 July and 7 August.

Elections will be managed by the Electoral Commission South Australia. 

SANTS will share more information with you as it becomes available.