SANTS News – October 2023

Monthly native title updates

Read the SANTS Annual Report

Look back on the past financial year at SA Native Title Services.

In our 2023 Annual Report, you can read summaries from SANTS CEO Keith Thomas and our newly appointed Chairperson Joshua Haynes, who shared his “heartfelt appreciation to all Board members, staff, partners and stakeholders who have contributed to our successes throughout the year.”

We are proud to have secured seven native title determinations in this reporting period, and look forward to another successful year supporting Aboriginal Nations to secure, manage and build on their native title. 

Read here

SA Voice to Parliament 

Despite the referendum result, the state government is committed to implementing the SA Voice to Parliament, which will consist of two committees known as the Local and State Voices.

This is an opportunity for Traditional Owners to speak directly to the state government about how it can create legislation that works for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Local Voices

The Local Voices will represent the views of Aboriginal communities in six regions (Adelaide, Far North, Flinders and Upper North, Riverland and South East, West and West Coast, Yorke and Mid North).

Up to eleven Indigenous members will sit on each Local Voice committee. 

State Voice

The State Voice will comprise two members from each Local Voice, who will be responsible for sharing their community’s views directly with the state government. Then, the parliament will consider the committee’s advice when creating laws, policies, and programs for Aboriginal people. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can nominate themselves to be a representative on the Local Voice from 22 January 2024.

Only Indigenous people will have the option to vote for their local representatives on Saturday, 16 March 2024.

More info here

Update on Riverlea housing development 

Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation has made the difficult decision to allow ancestral remains found at Riverlea to be reburied nearby — if the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs accepts an authorisation to continue works on the burial ground. 

The housing developer, Walker Corporation, made the authorisation request to the state government to continue developing the site under Sections 21, 23, and 29(1)(b) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1998 (SA).

Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson and Elder, Tim Agius said, “The community’s preferred position was that the ancestors remain in their burial ground and not be removed from Riverlea. However, under the circumstances and with the support of Kaurna Elders, we have made the difficult decision to respectfully exhume the remains to ensure their protection.” 

“We are following a process that has been endorsed by our Elders for 30 years. When ancestors are found, they are relocated to a safe location near the development. At Riverlea, we are working to identify an area to rebury our ancestors as close as practical to where they have been discovered,” Mr Agius said.