Roles and functions
The SAHC is established under Section 7 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (AHA) and the functions of the SAHC are set out in Section 8 of the AHA.
The SAHC provides advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation either on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister with respect to:
- the making of entries in the central archives and the removal of any such entry
- measures that should, in the committee’s opinion, be taken for the protection or preservation of Aboriginal sites, objects or remains
- the appointment of suitable persons as inspectors for the purpose of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 *
- Aboriginal heritage agreements
- any other matter related to the administration or operation of the AHA or to the protection or preservation of the Aboriginal heritage.
- The SAHC may also carry out any other function assigned to the committee by the AHA or by the Minister.
As a result of the amendments to the AHA, the SAHC has additional functions under sections 19B, 19C, 19E and 19G of the AHA. These include powers to appoint certain people or bodies as a Recognised Aboriginal Representative Body.
Members are appointed by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation to represent the interests of Aboriginal people throughout the State in the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage.
The current members are:
Sydney Sparrow (Chairperson)
Mr Sydney Sparrow is a Ngarrindjeri man with extensive experience in dealing with Aboriginal heritage matters, and considerable experience in advocating on behalf of Aboriginal people for the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage, evidenced by his longstanding position on the SAHC. Considering his past as a legal practitioner, he has a high level of understanding regarding the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, and also has an understanding of the recent changes introduced.
Ms Yvonne Agius is an esteemed Kaurna elder who has a strong interest in, and commitment to, promoting the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage. She has extensive professional experience ranging from sitting on the board for Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and the Adelaide City Council Reconciliation Committee. She has also had previous experience on the SAHC.
Mr Glen Wingfield is a Kokatha man who lives in Port Augusta. Mr Wingfield is the nomination of the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation. Mr Wingfield has experience in Aboriginal heritage matters throughout his career, providing advice on the ways to preserve and protect Aboriginal heritage. Mr Wingfield also has experience in Aboriginal site recording.
Ms Robyn Campbell has a passion for advocating on behalf of Aboriginal people for the preservation and protection of Aboriginal heritage. She has experience through her position on the SAHC, as a member of Kungari Aboriginal Heritage Association, and as Co-Chair of the South East Aboriginal Focus Group. She has had experience with the workings of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 and has recently taken on the role of CEO at Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation.
Mr Peter Miller is a highly regarded Wirangu man who lives in Ceduna. Mr Miller is the Chairperson of the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation. Mr Miller has experience advocating for the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage and is active in Aboriginal heritage matters, including as a member of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation’s Burial Discovery Working Group.
Helen (Lynn) Smith
Ms Helen Smith is a Barngarla woman who also has traditional ties to the West Coast and Far North peoples. She has been a member of the SAHC since 2008. She is well respected within her community and has a high level of experience with advocating on behalf of Aboriginal people for the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage.
Ms Vida Sumner is a First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee Native Title member. She is also connected through the lower lakes being Ngarrindjeri and Ramindjeri. Vida is active in her community in promoting Aboriginal Arts and has a strong passion for Aboriginal heritage and ensuring its preservation for future generations. She has a sound understanding of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, and the recording of Aboriginal sites.
Mr Mark Koolmatrie is the Chairperson of the Tribal Owners of the Coorong, Lower Lakes, River Murray, and the Sea. He has a commitment to, and passion for, the preservation of Aboriginal heritage and culture in the Ramindjeri, Tangani, Yarlde, Meintangk, and Ngarrindjeri lands.
Fiona Singer is an Arabana and Arrente woman who lives in Adelaide’s Northern Suburbs. Ms Singer is the Chairperson of the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation. Fiona has over 25 years’ experience working within both the Commonwealth and State governments and has qualifications in management. Fiona has a good knowledge and appreciation of the cultural, social and economic needs of Aboriginal people, including Arabana peoples; and knowledge and understanding of issues that affect Aboriginal communities in South Australia.
- 7 December 2017
- 1 February 2018
- 15 March 2018
- 26 April 2018
- 7 June 2018
- 19 July 2018
- 30 August 2018
- 25 October 2018
- 22 November 2018.
Applications to become a Recognised Aboriginal Representative Body (RARB)
Now that the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 has been amended, (17 October 2017) the SAHC will be able to approve the appointment of Registered Native Title Body Corporates (RNTBC) as RARBs and consider applications from registered Native Title Claim Groups, Aboriginal ILUA parties other corporate bodies to become a RARB.