Aboriginal partnerships

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board acknowledges and respects the traditional owners of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges.

The board recognises traditional owners’ rights, interests and obligations to speak and care for their traditional lands in accordance with their customary laws, beliefs and traditions. The board acknowledges and respects the perspective of traditional owners and Aboriginal people that the land, waters and all living things are connected, are part of a cultural landscape formed during the dreaming, and have been continually managed by traditional owners since time immemorial.

What is our Aboriginal Partnerships program?

The program aims to meaningfully involve traditional owners and Aboriginal people in natural resources planning, management and on-ground implementation, creating lasting two-way benefits.

Employment and training within the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region

The board is committed to expanding opportunities for Aboriginal employment and training pathways. This will be advanced in-line with the Aboriginal Workforce Strategy 2012-2015.

Its Aboriginal Partnerships program supports a small, yet innovative employment and training program in conjunction with the principle partner, the Aboriginal Lands Trust. This began as the Aboriginal Learning on Country program and is now known as Aboriginal Lands Trust NRM Services. It supports young Aboriginal people to complete certificate IV programs in Conservation and Land Management and develop their own self-sustaining contracting service.

Increasing cultural competency and awareness

The Aboriginal Partnerships Program builds the cultural competency and awareness of staff to work respectfully and inclusively with traditional owners and Aboriginal communities. This is done through formal training sessions and by providing positive experiences and places for staff to come together with traditional owners and Aboriginal communities to share knowledge, stories and discuss what’s important to all of us.

Aboriginal inclusion in project planning

The program recognises the need to engage with Aboriginal communities at the earliest possible stage of project planning.

Two recent examples of early engagement with traditional owners include the development of the Goolwa Dunes and Tokuremoar Reserve Environmental Action Plan 2015 in conjunction with the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority and engaging with the Kaurna community on the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary. By engaging with the this community in the early stages of establishing the sanctuary, Kaurna perspectives, values and needs informed and were incorporated into project planning and added value to this significant international venture. 

Heritage protection

The program aims to ensure the protection of Aboriginal heritage sites, which are places of physical and/or spiritual significance for Aboriginal people. This is done through assisting staff to understand and adhere to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 and other locally appropriate mechanisms.

The program also builds the cultural knowledge and capacity of staff to engage with Aboriginal people early in project planning and delivery. Early engagement aims to ensure that Aboriginal interests and cultural heritage implications are valued and inform project planning.

All of these components help create strong partnerships which is essential to the success of this project.

Related projects and plans

Useful contacts

More information

  • Aboriginal Engagement Officer
    (08) 8273 9100
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges