The State Aboriginal Heritage Committee is established under Section 7 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.
The Committee provides advice to the Minister about:
- making and removing entries in the central archives
- measures that should be taken for the protection or preservation of Aboriginal sites, objects or remains
- appointing suitable persons as heritage inspectors under the Act
- Aboriginal heritage agreements
- any other matter related to the administration or operation of the Act or to the protection or preservation of Aboriginal heritage.
The Committee also has the power to appoint, suspend or revoke people or bodies as Recognised Aboriginal Representative Bodies under the Act.
2022-23 meeting dates
- 15 December 2022
- 9 February 2023
- 23 March 2023
- 4 May 2023
- 15 June 2023
The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation is required to appoint and maintain a State Aboriginal Heritage Committee to represent the interests of Aboriginal people throughout the state in the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage.
Fiona Singer – Chairperson (2022 –); member (– 2025)
Fiona Singer is an Arabana and Southern Arrernte woman. Fiona is a previous Chairperson of the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation. Fiona has over 25 years’ experience working within both Commonwealth and State Governments, and has qualifications in management.
Fiona is passionate about heritage, and has a comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of the cultural, social and economic needs and challenges of Aboriginal people and communities in South Australia, particularly native title holders.
Joshua Haynes –Vice-Chair (2022 –); member (– 2024)
Joshua Haynes is a Yandruwandha man who is currently a director of the National Native Title Council and Chair of the Maree-Innamincka Landscape Group and Deputy Chair of South Australian Native Title Services. Joshua is appointed to Victoria's Dhawura Ngilan (Remembering Country) steering committee, which seeks to implement nationally consistent Aboriginal heritage legislation across Australia that will improve heritage protection, strengthen culture and give primacy to the voices of Aboriginal people in respect of their own cultural heritage.
Ali Abdullah-Highfold (– 2024)
Ali Abdullah-Highford is a Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, Kokatha and Wirangu man. Ali has worked with the South Australian museum for the last 25 years, where he repatriates cultural heritage information back to communities across Australia and provides family history research services for Aboriginal people to reconnect to family, community and country. Ali is passionate about protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage and giving the Aboriginal community a voice for their cultural heritage interests.
Cheryl Saunders (– 2023)
Cheryl Saunders is a Wirangu / Kokatha woman. She is a previous director of Gawler Ranges Aboriginal Corporation. Cheryl is currently involved with the Kids on Country program, run by the Nature Foundation SA, which facilitates students spending time involved in culturally appropriate conservation activities and hands-on learning with Aboriginal elders, Indigenous rangers and science educators.
Kahlia Gibson (– 2025)
Kahlia Gibson is a Kokatha and Barkandji woman living on Kaurna country. Kahlia is passionate about the promotion, protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage and is continuously building her knowledge base of heritage matters. Kahlia is a former Chairperson and RARB Project Officer for Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.
Ken Jones (– 2023)
A Bunganditj Elder, Ken’s interest in the environment began early through regular family hunting and fishing trips along the Limestone Coast, discovering bush tucker, growing a native fruit orchard and timber forests. His work and volunteer career spans commercial fishing management, environmental building, habitat restoration and field and bird surveys.
From his property near Port MacDonnell, Ken now teaches and addresses care for intangible heritage values and the environment within Bunganditj Country.
Kym Thomas (– 2025)
Kym Thomas is a proud Nukunu Aboriginal person committed to the holistic development of people and communities in personal development, health, employment, education and the protection and preservation of Aboriginal Heritage. Kym is a Research with the University of Adelaide's Rural Clinical School in Port Augusta. He has over 25 years' experience in government and tertiary education sectors, where he has maintained collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal organisations and services across the state. He is the current Chairperson for Nukunu Wapma Thura Aboriginal Corporation.
Kym's belief that Aboriginal cultural heritage is important for all Australians, and that it warrants appropriate protections, led him to seek membership of the Committee.
Marius Liddle (– 2024)
Marius Liddle is an Arrente man born in Adelaide with family ties to the Mparntwe/Tyuretye, Irlpme and Uremerne traditional estates of central Australia. Growing up in the Riverland, Marius developed a keen interest in regional environmental and cultural heritage preservation and protection. He is committed to ensuring First Nations peoples are influential within decision-making and policy setting processes. He has extensive board and committee experience in the areas of cultural autonomy and commercial opportunity.
Michael Coughlan (– 2023)
Michael is a Peramangk/Ngarrindjeri man who is the chairperson of the Peramangk Descendants Heritage and Land Council, and current CEO of Antakirinja Matu - Yankunytjtjara Aboriginal Corporation (AMYAC RNTBC). He has over 30 years' experience in senior roles in the private and public sectors in the area of community development.
Michael is passionate about Aboriginal, human and civil rights. He was a State delegate and signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and a delegate to the United Nations in 2017 to speak on Australia's performance against the UN Covenant of Political and Civil Rights Performance Report.
Sue Haseldine (– 2024)
Sue Haseldine is a Kokatha / Mirning woman from Ceduna. She is a member of the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation. Sue is a long-time advocate for heritage protection, having tended sacred sites for most of her life. Sue currently works with educators, taking young people onto country to teach them the traditional ways and stories.
Yvonne Agius (– 2023)
Yvonne Agius is an esteemed Kaurna elder who has a strong interest in, and commitment to, promoting the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage. Yvonne has extensive professional experience, including current membership of the Adelaide City Council Reconciliation Committee.
Yvonne is the previous Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, and has significant experience on the boards and as a member of many other Aboriginal organisations.
*Biographical information is correct at the time of publication.