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Aboriginal engagement

Acknowledgement of Country

The Narungga, Nukunu, Kaurna, Ngadjuri, and Peramangk people are the Traditional custodians of the Northern and Yorke region and have been for thousands of years.

The Board acknowledges and respects the Traditional Owners of Northern and Yorke. We acknowledge elders past and present, and we respect the relationship Aboriginal people have to Country.

Aboriginal peoples’ oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters. These stories interconnect lands and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance.

We recognise and respect Aboriginal peoples' ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. The Board is committed to supporting Traditional Owners, Aboriginal people and Aboriginal organisations’ involvement in the management of lands, seas and waters. This includes recognising the relationship between Aboriginal culture and natural resources and incorporating Aboriginal knowledge of natural resources into decision-making.

Statement of Commitment

On 1 December 2021, the chairs of South Australia’s nine landscape boards made a strong commitment to reconciliation and to strengthening partnerships with First Nations across the state by signing an historic ‘Statement of Commitment’. The statement marks an important formal commitment by the boards to collaborate with First Nations in working toward statewide landscape priorities. Developed in consultation with cultural authorities including the First Nations Coordinating Committee and SA Native Title Services, the statement gives twelve commitments to guide how each board will embed First Nations partnerships and expertise in delivering regional landscape plans.

The statement stipulates that through respectful cross-cultural knowledge sharing, and long-term conversations, the boards commit to implementing actions that will see board members, staff and Aboriginal people working together to manage, protect and restore their region’s landscapes. Recognising each region has very different cultural contexts, each local action plan will look different, but will be tailored with and for the local Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal engagement

Aboriginal Engagement Committee

The Aboriginal Engagement Committee (AEC) was formed in 2020 to strengthen strategic engagement between the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board and First Nations’ communities in the management of the region’s landscapes.

Committee members include a representative from each of the region’s five Nations, including Nukunu, Narungga, Ngadjuri, Kaurna and Peramangk, together with three Northern and Yorke Landscape Board members, and a representative from the Legatus Group, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North and Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains.

Meetings occur four times a year, with every second meeting held on Country.

These on-Country meetings are a chance for the committee to see the landscape through First Nations’ eyes and to share knowledge on caring for Country. An elder leads a tour of significant heritage sites, highlighting the importance of protecting Indigenous heritage and natural resources.

Read about the first on-Country AEC meeting.

For more information about the AEC, contact Northern and Yorke Landscape Board’s Aboriginal Partnerships Officer on 8841 3444.

Healthy Country Planning

Healthy Country Planning is a planning process designed for First Nations to identify what they would like to see happen on Country. These key priorities include protecting cultural sites, restoring native vegetation, reintroducing native species, enterprise opportunities and spending time together on Country. Priorities work towards keeping Country and culture healthy.

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board supports the Healthy Country Planning process for First Nations in this region by coordinating and funding activities to create a Healthy Country Plan, in collaboration with Conservation Management who facilitate the process.

Narungga and Nukunu have completed versions of their Healthy Country Plans, and Ngadjuri are underway with their Healthy Country Plan, with two workshops completed so far in 2023.

It takes about a year to create a Healthy Country Plan and involves around five weekend workshops, with working group meetings in between. The workshops occur on Country, providing opportunities to meet together and visit key sites while discussing and identifying key priorities. The plan is created and owned by that First Nation and they determine how it is shared and used. Key priorities can be shared with partners and funding bodies to collaborate on developing projects that are supported by the whole community.

Aboriginal engagement


Each year, we are involved in coordinating a celebration of First Nations people through a NAIDOC event.

NAIDOC, which is held across Australia, aims to recognise that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

Read more about previous NAIDOC events in Clare:

  • 2021 NAIDOC – Heal Country! 29 August 2021, Clare Showgrounds
  • 2020 NAIDOC – Always Was, Always Will Be (Held January 2021 due to COVID-19)
  • 2019 NAIDOC – Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future
  • 2018 NAIDOC – Because of her, we can

Cultural water

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board is committed to engaging with the First Nations community about their cultural water values and objectives. In September 2021, Travis Thomas shared the Nukunu people's perspective on kawi (water) and its importance to them. He discussed cultural water flows, particularly at Baroota Pari (Place of Plenty) in the Spencer Gulf area of South Australia.

More information

First Nations Partnerships Officer

155 Main North Road, Clare SA 5453