Artwork by Gabriel Stengle (Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga). Learn more about the artwork and what it represents
The Government of South Australia has committed to a state-based implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, commencing with implementation of the First Nations Voice to the South Australian Parliament.
Introduction of the Bill
The First Nations Voice Bill 2023 was introduced to Parliament on Thursday 9 February.
The Bill proposes a connected, direct and independent line of communication for First Nations people to South Australia's Parliament and the government, to allow important, shared communication by locally elected regional members.
First Nations Voice model (PDF, 2.7 MB)
First Nations Voice model in Pitjantjara (PDF, 1.2 MB)
How did we get here?
As a first step in the state-based implementation, the government appointed the inaugural Commissioner for First Nations Voice, Dale Agius, to lead a series of community engagements. The Commissioner held two rounds of engagements between August 2022 and January 2023. These discussions built on the nation-wide conversations which led to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017.
In November 2022, the Government released a First Nations Voice model, and a draft First Nations Voice Bill - based on the Commissioner's findings from the first engagement round.
The draft First Nations Voice Bill 2022 outlined a model that would provide First Nations people, who are elected by First Nations people in their communities, the ability to speak directly to Parliament, as well as engage with all levels of government.
The Commissioner then commenced a second round of community engagement to seek feedback on the proposed model, including face-to-face statewide engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and written submissions.
Following this, a number of changes were made to the draft Bill including:
- alterations allowing for the Voice to address either the House of Assembly or the Legislative Council in relation to any specific Bill which is considered of interest to the state Voice
- the establishment of specific committees representing young persons, Elders, Native Title holders and members of the Stolen Generation, to advise the State First Nations Voice
- provisions designed to ensure that the Voice does not impact on Native Title agreements or other First Nations organisations
- a clearer definition of the terms 'First Nations person' and 'Traditional Owner'.