Today marks fifty years since South Australia passed the first Aboriginal land rights legislation in Australia.



Today marks fifty years since South Australia passed the first Aboriginal land rights legislation in Australia.

The Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966 recognised the fundamental and profound relationship that Aboriginal people traditionally have with their land and waters and formally acknowledged that land within South Australia was wrongfully taken from its traditional owners.

The creation of the Aboriginal Lands Trust as a statutory landholding body gave land back to the collective ownership of South Australia’s Aboriginal people for their use and benefit.

South Australia has since seen many social, economic, environmental and legislative changes, requiring an updated Act, to better reflect the contemporary aspirations and skills of Aboriginal South Australians.

A comprehensive state-wide review commenced in 2008 and a new Act came into operation on 1 July 2014. It was specifically drafted to support the Trust to unlock the commercial potential of its estate and to operate as an independent professional land holding body.

The Commercial Development Advisory Committee has recently been established to provide specific expertise and advice to the Trust. The Act seeks to ensure that the Trust has an informed decision-making structure that will bring balance and equity to the management of the Trust’s historical, cultural and community interests for the benefit of all Aboriginal South Australians.

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