Reconciliation SA Board Nomination Pack

Nominations for election of Reconciliation SA Board Members are now open.

Are you passionate about Reconciliation? Are you an energised and strategic thinker? Are you motivated to achieve change?

Then think about becoming a Board Member and take a more active leadership role in the state of Reconciliation here in South Australia.

Membership of the Board is an opportunity for people to make a significant contribution to achieving a fair and equitable community here in South Australia, and with a brand new Constitution Reconciliation SA is eager to provide greater leadership and support to South Australian organisations, governments and citizens.

Nominations close 29th October 2020 5pm.

Blast Off on the West Coast, Koonibba Makes History again!

Koonibba is now home to Australia’s first rocket launch from a commercial test site – becoming a part of history once more. The first attempt was on Tuesday 15 September 2020, but it was a misfire. Leaving a myriad of travelers and tourists keen to witness the historic moment disappointed. Four days later, however, another attempt was made, and this time it was a success.

Australia’s first commercial, space capable rocket blasted off from the Koonibba test range. Southern Launch, the company behind the rocket, aimed to launch the rocket 85km into space, which would make it the highest a commercial rocket had reached from Australian Soil.

The idea is that the rocket reaches space, and ejects a small payload, which then collects information with its built-in sensors on its journey back to earth to assist with the development of satellite technology. Once the payload and the rocket have fallen back to earth, a recovery effort to find them will be undertaken so the data can be used.

While the second launch attempt was a success, sadly, none of the 200 Koonibba community members were in attendance to watch the successful launch.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall was in attendance Tuesday, saying "All of the previous launches have been government launches, so it is a historic time and I think this is really a taste of what's to come in Australia".

Southern Launch has two sites across South Australia. The Koonibba site, and one on the other side of the Eyre Peninsula at Whalers Way.

Southern Launch is hoping to launch a rocket a couple of times a month, with the aim to increase that number as the industry in South Australia grows.


A little about Koonibba and its famous history

Koonibba was founded as an ''Aboriginal mission'' in 1901 on the West Coast of South Australia. It’s about a forty-kilometer drive from Ceduna and has become a part of history by having the oldest, still existing Australian Rules Football Club in Australia.

Koonibba is now a successful community near the traditional lands of the Wirangu, Kokatha and Mirning peoples. In 1906, the Koonibba Football Club was founded – and played against teams from Denial Bay, Charra, Penong and Ceduna.

Fun Fact! - Brownlow Medal winning Essendon and Port Adelaide great Gavin Wanganeen’s great, grandfather played for Koonibba.

Known as the Koonibba Roosters, the last decade has seen the team dominate the league in which they play, with Grand Final wins in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017.

The club has been visited, written or spoken about by a host of sports stars and celebrities, with television presenter Shelley Ware writing about the club in her blog and popular TV presenter and actor, Ernie Dingo visiting the club in a segment of ‘Going Places with Ernie Dingo’.

Former Adelaide Crows star and Carlton star Eddie Betts has also visited the club, having personal connections to it.

Josh to Spearhead Inclusivity in the Hills

Josh Spier is the Adelaide Hills Council's new Community and Social Planning Officer. Josh explains his new role as “ensuring our district is accessible and inclusive for all people, a key step in strengthening community wellbeing.”

Josh grew up in Bridgewater, in the Adelaide hills. “Even when I moved to a high school in the CBD, I still spent every weekend playing basketball, cricket and music with my ‘Hills mates’” Josh recounts.

While he now lives in the Unley area with his wife and three children, the hills location was a factor when considering the new role. Josh says “what appealed to me most about the role was a desire to give back. I want to brew my background and training in community development and social research together to serve a community and environment I deeply care about.”

Josh taught Indigenous studies at Flinders University. One of his most important memories of this time is the “true collegiality I shared with Indigenous scholars at Flinders.” Josh was privileged enough to co-teach with members of the Unbound Collective, research and performance group.  He worked most closely with Associate Professor Simone Ulalka Tur, Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous).

Josh says that The Collective’s performances move through spaces that “have historically seen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians excluded and reduced to tell untold chapters of Australia’s true history”.

When Josh worked with Associate Professor Tur in 2018, he recalls that “she would spend all week teaching large courses and supporting Aboriginal students, go home and work on her PhD, perform with her activist-art Collective in the evening, and support her family and community. And then, over the weekend, she’d help lead a campaign against a nuclear waste dump in regional South Australia.”

Josh says that he learnt much from Associate Professor Tur. “From my friendship with Simone, I learnt so much about the importance of getting behind Aboriginal-led movements - and the vital role of Indigenous storytellers and activist-artists in achieving social change.”

When it comes to reconciliation, Josh believes that it is about “building friendships”

“Friends listen to one another. Really listen. They laugh and cry together. They stand up for each other. They challenge each other and learn from each other. They work hard together toward shared interests and goals. They know each other.”

He says the words of Brooke Prentis, Waka Waka woman Aboriginal rights activist, express what reconciliation means better than he can:

“The gap is so wide because Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people don’t know each other. We don’t know each other therefore we can’t be friends and I think when you have friendship it’s about relationship and that’s when you get to know each other and you can see a different future, one that’s filled with hope and love … . When you look on an individual basis with your own friends, you would hope that there was truth and love between you. So, for me, we can’t have reconciliation without truth, and therefore we can’t have friendship without truth. With truth and understanding comes justice, and understanding our struggle for justice, and for non-Aboriginal people to come and walk alongside us in fighting for justice.”

Josh’s first priority with the Adelaide Hills Council will be “developing and coordinating the new AHC Disability Inclusion Plan 2020-24. The role is about making sure our community planning guides the hard work that Council need to keep doing – in collaboration with our community and partners - to create inclusive environments that enable health for all. I’ll also be co-designing better strategies to track community wellbeing/needs and the reach of our community services.”

To achieve parts of this, Josh is looking to work with First Nations leaders in the Adelaide Hills.  To explain how he feels about working toward helping others, he quotes Gangulu woman Lilla Watson comes to mind:

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Josh will be working with the Adelaide Hills Reconciliation Working Group (AHRWG) in his new role.  He explains that he sees his work as “aligning with AHC’s Reconciliation Action Plan moving forward. I also see the AHRWG being a resource and brains trust to provide feedback and guidance on all the planning projects I will be coordinating with respect to community wellbeing and inclusion.”

Josh would like to hear from any First Nations peoples who live with disability, and their families, who are interested in giving their feedback on our new Disability Inclusion Plan (DIP).

“We are currently preparing our draft DIP in consultation with staff, the community and the local disability sector. We want our DIP to encompass actions that will improve access and inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability who live, visit or work in the Adelaide Hills.”

To share your thoughts and ideas, you can contact Josh at email

Constitutional Change for Reconciliation SA

On Tuesday 29 September 2020, Reconciliation SA held the first event at its new premises at Pitt Street Adelaide, in the form of a Special General Meeting, this meeting proposed a new Constitution for the organisation.

Reconciliation SA Board have been working hard for some time to look at how the 2011 Constitution was reflective of the work that is now being undertaken and asked of Reconciliation in 2020. With the assistance of Mr Kim Cheater, Partner and Co-Chair National Reconciliation Governance Committee, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the review was undertaken and a number of recommendations were made to contemporise this important document. In addition to the meeting being held on site, CoVid19 restrictions also called for the meeting to also be held live on-line via video conferencing.

Reconciliation SA Board Co-Chair Helen Connolly speaks about the process and this significant change:

Why did the Board ask members to adopt a new constitution for Reconciliation SA?

Over the past few years, the Reconciliation SA Board has embarked on a journey of modernising and professionalising the organisation.  This has included creating a new strategic directions plan, developing new sustainable sources of income, revamping operational practices, becoming more tech savvy and doing all we can to create a reconciliation movement in SA.

This has also required the Board to look at the way it does its work and identify any barriers to achieving our vision.  We identified that the Reconciliation SA Constitution was no longer facilitating or supporting our capacity to achieve our ambitious goals. We then embarked on a lengthy process of rethinking and rewriting the new Constitution supported by Greg Franks from the Board and Kim Cheater from PWC in a pro bono capacity.

What will the new constitution mean for Reconciliation SA and its work going forward?

The broad aim to modernise our governance arrangements included a capacity for a mix of elected and appointed Board members to bring together the best of both worlds, in terms of community connection and a skills mix.  We want to develop new membership opportunities to allow a range of groups and individuals to be part of the movement, rather than only those named in the Constitution.

We also wanted the principles that underpin our actions to be enshrined in our guiding documents in particular the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

What change/s are you most excited about and why?

The new Constitution will support us to achieve these endeavours.  We have had positive feedback already on the changes, particularly from people in regional SA who are keen to be part of our work.

I am looking forward to revamping our membership model more broadly and looking at really creating a movement of organisations and individuals united under a reconciliation banner.

Did you learn any lessons from the process of constitutional change?

The process of changing the old Constitution was not easy with 75% of all members needing to be present and 75% of those present voting in favour.   If not for COVID-19, and the capacity to move to an online meeting, it is unlikely to have ever achieved the changes, so as strange as it sounds COVID was good for this process.  The individual calls to members to explain the significance of the changes was also a massive effort.  This engagement was incredibly important.

The new constitution is the last major plank in our future proofing strategy, and I am excited about the next part of the Reconciliation SA journey.