We acknowledge and respect Aboriginal peoples as the state’s First Peoples and nations. We recognise Aboriginal peoples as Traditional Owners, who live in lands and waters in South Australia.

artwork representing reconciliation

In the pictured artwork by artist Tony Wilson, there are three types of colour, but all represent an abstract geography of South Australia. The ripples represent the outward reach we have across the state.

The circles represent the different roles we have, as both individuals and as a group, to deliver services to the people living in South Australia.

The layers are symbolic of our three main roles:

  • making sure that laws and the justice system are fair
  • protecting South Australians and their rights
  • providing services to support people, business and industry.

The top layer represents the people of SA.

Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan

July 2019 - June 2021

Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-21 (PDF, 9.5 MB)

The Attorney-General’s Department acknowledges and respects Aboriginal peoples as the state’s First Peoples and nations, and recognises Aboriginal peoples as Traditional Owners and occupants of lands and waters in South Australia.

We recognise:

  • the spiritual, social, cultural and economic practices of Aboriginal people come from their connection to traditional lands and waters
  • maintaining cultural and heritage beliefs, languages and laws are of ongoing importance to Aboriginal peoples today
  • Aboriginal peoples have made and continue to make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to South Australia.

We acknowledge Aboriginal peoples have endured past injustice and dispossession of their traditional lands and waters and the effects of such injustice and dispossession are still felt today.

Note - In South Australia, Aboriginal is used to describe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Attorney-General’s Department has a strong history of recognising the important role government justice agencies can play in promoting reconciliation and supporting Aboriginal economic participation. Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) aims to highlight the various actions we will continue to take to strengthen our commitment in these areas.

Through our RAP, we will ensure the Attorney-General’s Department is an inclusive and culturally safe place for Aboriginal people to work and access services. This will be reflected in the way we communicate and engage with Aboriginal people, and the way we celebrate and promote Aboriginal culture.

As a department we have made great progress in increasing our number of Aboriginal employees and we hope by implementing the measures in this RAP, this will continue. We also have a number of business units that provide a range of diverse services to the South Australian Aboriginal community. The RAP will ensure as a department we are proactive in our efforts to ensure these services are delivered in a culturally inclusive way.

I encourage all staff to familiarise themselves with this plan, and to embrace opportunities to be part of the reconciliation process.

Caroline Mealor
Chief Executive
Attorney-General’s Department

On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I am delighted to see the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department continue its reconciliation journey and to formally endorse its third Innovate RAP.

Through the development of an Innovate RAP, the Attorney-General’s Department continues to play an important part in a community of over 1,000 dedicated corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have formally committed to reconciliation through the RAP program since its inception in 2006. RAP organisations across Australia are turning good intentions into positive actions, helping to build higher trust, lower prejudice, and increase pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Reconciliation is no one single issue or agenda. Based on international research and benchmarking, Reconciliation Australia, defines and measures reconciliation through five critical dimensions: race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; unity; and historical acceptance. All sections of the community—governments, civil society, the private sector, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities—have a role to play to progress these dimensions.

The RAP program provides a framework for organisations to advance reconciliation within their spheres of influence. This Innovate RAP provides the Attorney-General’s Department with the key steps to establish its own unique approach to reconciliation. Through implementing an Innovate RAP, the department will strengthen its approach to driving reconciliation through its business activities, services and programs, and develop mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.

We wish the Attorney-General’s Department well as it embeds and expands its own unique approach to reconciliation. We encourage the department to embrace this journey with open hearts and minds, to grow from the challenges, and to build on its successes. As the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation reminded the nation in its final report:

“Reconciliation is hard work—it’s a long, winding and corrugated road, not a broad, paved highway. Determination and effort at all levels of government and in all sections of the community will be essential to make reconciliation a reality.”

On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I commend the Attorney-General’s Department on its third RAP, and look forward to following its ongoing reconciliation journey.

Karen Mundine
Chief Executive Officer
Reconciliation Australia

The Attorney-General’s Department acknowledges the unacceptable over-representation of Aboriginal people as victims and offenders in the criminal justice system and is committed to working with Aboriginal people to overcome disadvantage in law and justice.

Our vision for reconciliation is to work with Aboriginal people to promote healing and to build an inclusive, safe and fair South Australia for all.

With its head office located in Adelaide, the Attorney-General’s Department provides a broad range of legal, policy and other services across South Australia. There are approximately 1,970 staff employed in the department, 34 of whom identify as Aboriginal.

The Attorney-General’s Department promotes justice by protecting the rights of all South Australians, holding people to account according to the law, improving safety, and contributing to an efficient and fair justice system.

With a focus on prevention, the Attorney-General’s Department promotes fair, timely and easy access to justice through the provision of legal, civil, prosecutorial and legislative services, as well as specialist policy advice.

The Attorney-General’s Department also fosters community safety and wellbeing by advocating for and protecting the rights of individuals, in particular, the most vulnerable in the community, and promoting cultural diversity and equality. This includes working with the community and businesses to protect people’s rights and promoting a fair and safe community.

The Attorney-General’s Department works in a number of areas that are particularly relevant to Aboriginal South Australians including:

  • our commitment to increasing the number of Aboriginal staff employed in the department to 4% of our overall workforce
  • providing work experience opportunities to Aboriginal students
  • working with Traditional Owners and land users to determine native title rights
  • building future leaders through development programs such as the Aboriginal Power Cup
  • working to address over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system
  • supporting a fair marketplace through consumer awareness and complaints handling, including by producing education material in Aboriginal languages
  • working to address discrimination.

Our reconciliation actions

Our actions fall under four themes: