A new Treaty Commissioner will lead the consultation process about a model for Treaty between the State Government and Aboriginal South Australians.

Dr Roger Thomas, a senior Aboriginal leader with a successful career in both the private and public sector and proud Kokatha and Mirning man, has been appointed for a term of three years.

The Treaty Commissioner will consult extensively with Aboriginal communities across the state over the coming months and provide advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation on a recommended Treaty framework to further negotiations in South Australia. The Commissioner will then facilitate the Treaty making process.

An Office of the Commissioner will also be established within the Department of State Development.

Background

The State Government has committed to commencing Treaty discussions with the Aboriginal community in South Australia.

Dr Thomas has extensive experience in conducting public consultations with the Aboriginal community and he has held various positions on state, national and international advisory committees.

He was the inaugural Professor of Indigenous Engagement and Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of Adelaide and also the Dean of the Centre for Australian Indigenous Research and Studies, Wilto Yerlo.

Quotes attributable to Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister Kyam Maher

Appointing Dr Thomas to the role of Treaty Commissioner is the next step towards formally commencing discussions and negotiating the terms of Treaty.

I am confident that Dr Thomas will be an effective steward in bringing together communities and government to consider how Treaty will benefit Aboriginal people in the state and contribute to addressing the wrongs of the past.

The best policies come about through community involvement and Treaty will rely on strong engagement from the South Australian Aboriginal community.

Quotes attributable to Treaty Commissioner Dr Roger Thomas

I am very honoured to be leading the Treaty process with South Australia’s Aboriginal nations, which is a significant and important matter for Aboriginal people in our state.

I look forward to ensuring negotiations are fair and lead to positive outcomes for Aboriginal people, the government and the broader South Australian community.