Department of State Development

Established in 2007, the Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement is a point of contact for Aboriginal people to express their concerns about issues that matter to them.

The Commissioner provides advice to the State Government, as well as promoting Aboriginal inclusion more broadly through the non-Aboriginal community.

Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna Elder Francis (Frank) Lampard OAM and Inawantji Scales from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands are appointed as South Australia’s Commissioners for Aboriginal Engagement.

They share the role of providing Aboriginal leadership in South Australia, advocating on behalf of all Aboriginal people and communities across the state.

The Commissioner is the public advocate for engagement between the broader community and Aboriginal people, and investigates and advises on systemic barriers to Aboriginal people’s access and full participation in government, non-government and private services.

Commissioner actions

  • Provide advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, government, non-government and private organisations on issues and barriers raised with or identified by the Commissioner.
  • Act independently, impartially and in the public interest.
  • Consult with non-government organisations and peak Aboriginal bodies and represent their views to government as appropriate.
  • Provide written advice at each meeting of the South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council through a standing agenda item.
  • Consult with the Chief Executive, Department of State Development and the Office of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, when public statements are to be made, consistent with agreed protocols.
  • Report regularly on his/her activities to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation.

For more information

Frank Lampard OAM, an Aboriginal Elder of Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna descent, was a primary school teacher for more than 30 years before holding several senior roles in the public service, including as the Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Prisoners and Offenders Support Services Incorporated. He has also served on several advisory and government bodies and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee. Mr Lampard has received numerous awards and recognition, including an Order of Australia medal and the National NAIDOC Elder of the Year Award. He is passionate about retaining Aboriginal languages and culture in schools and the tertiary sector, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in South Australia.

Inawantji (Ina) Scales is from the Pipalyatjara community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara lands and is a qualified interpreter and language educator in the Pitjantjatjara language. She has been a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjattjara Women’s Council and continues to work with the council supporting the Empowered Communities reform initiative. She has also worked with Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation in the Department of State Development as a Malpa or service coordinator in the western APY communities. Ms Scales is known for her enthusiasm for good governance, transparency and accountability, and her commitment to Aboriginal people in South Australia.