20/21 State Government Budget Summary

On Tuesday 10 November, the State Government released the 2020/21 State Budget. The Budget included several commitments to support Aboriginal people and communities in South Australia and promote Aboriginal culture.  Key measures included:

  • $3.3 million to support the Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector in South Australia to deliver services and programs to First Nations people under Priority Reform Two of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, with a further $1.8 million to support the functions of the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations Network (SACCON).
  • Funding Aboriginal Community Housing to deliver 40 long-term housing outcomes in Bedford Park as part of a broader $13.6m commitment to support rough sleepers.
  • $873k ‘Return to Country Program’ to support Aboriginal people from remote communities to remain safe and avoid homelessness and displacement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $9.9m to upgrade municipal infrastructure in regional and remote Aboriginal communities, including road repairs, improvements to waste management and community infrastructure upgrades.
  • $50 million to complete the new Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre to be located at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site (Lot Fourteen).


Additionally, key government agencies also committed to achieving the following targets:

Department of Human Services

  • Commission non-government agencies and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver new Intensive Family Support Services.
  • Develop a new Aboriginal Language Interpreting Service within the Interpreting and Translating Centre.
  • Improve outcomes for Aboriginal young people through culturally responsive services and an enhanced staff training and recruitment strategy.

Department for Health and Wellbeing

  • Embed and sustain Closing the Gap initiatives into core business, including partnering with consumers and non-government organisations to develop collaborative, culturally sensitive care pathways across the northern Adelaide region
  • Review and redesign the model of care for the APY Lands for its implementation.

Department for Child Protection

  • Implement a new pilot service led by one or more Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to provide culturally specific support and training to kinship carers of Aboriginal children and young people.

Department of the Premier and Cabinet

  • Finalise and implement a Closing the Gap (South Australian) jurisdictional action plan.
  • Develop a new South Australian Aboriginal Action Plan for 2021-22.
  • Continue to engage with Aboriginal community leaders and health authorities to help keep remote Aboriginal communities COVID-19 free.


For further analysis of these and other measures of interest to the health and community services sector, you may like to read the State Budget Analysis released by our member organisation, the  South Australian Council of Social Service.

Adelaide PHN get endorsement on Innovate RAP

Aboriginal health is a key priority area for Adelaide Primary Health Network (Adelaide PHN). They work with their commissioned service providers to address health inequities and increase access to culturally appropriate services within the Adelaide metropolitan region.

In 2018, Adelaide PHN committed to establishing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to support their journey to achieve their vision for reconciliation. They aligned with the Innovate RAP as set out by Reconciliation Australia, recognising their sphere of influence by working with the services they commission and establishing the best approach to implement actions to advance reconciliation with Aboriginal communities across the Adelaide region.

After 2 years of consultation with Aboriginal communities, local Elders, Adelaide PHN’s membership groups, stakeholders and staff, they are excited to announce that their Innovate RAP has received final endorsement from Reconciliation Australia.

Their Innovate RAP will span for a two year period from July 2020 – July 2022 and led by an internal working group with support from all portfolios within their organisation.

Adelaide PHN is proud to join over 1,000 other organisations across Australia that have formally committed to reconciliation through the National RAP program.

To find out more and access a copy of Adelaide PHN’s RAP, please visit adelaidephn.com.au/our-work/our-activities/reconciliation-action-plan/.


Interview: Uncle Gordon Franklin, Kokatha man and Military Veteran

Reconciliation SA caught up with Kokatha man and military veteran Gordon Franklin.

Born along the Nullarbor plains, SA, Mr. Franklin and his family eventually moved to the Eyre Peninsula of SA. His family had links to the area, and it was close to the land of the Kokatha people. After some moving around the peninsula, at 14 years of age Mr. Franklin’s father settled in Port Lincoln.

Of that time, Mr. Franklin says “My ambition was to become an electronics engineer, but without being allowed to finish high school, I needed to get an apprenticeship. Because this opportunity was not available to me, I worked as a clerk at the Barley Board.”

Speaking of his youth, Mr. Franklin says “For some reason, we were not forced into the reserves as many of our family and friends were. The government banned us from mixing with those friends and relatives that they had put on the reserves. One of my father's best friend, Uncle Dick, told us many years later that we were the poorer for not having our culture taught to us. Uncle was quite correct in that assumption, sad but true.” Mr. Franklin admits that as a child, his life was culturally barren, however, before his grandfather taught him aspects of his culture.

Recalling a story from his childhood, Mr Franklin says “My father highlighted the difference between our two cultures on a trip to see an Elder, Uncle Mooney Davies at Andamooka near Woomera Rocket Range. [along the way] We met a stranded English migrant. My father stopped to help and gave him half of everything we possessed at the time, food, money and unfortunately petrol. Our old car was gravity-fed, no petrol pump, causing us to have back up the hills until we got to Andamooka.”

Reflecting on his Army days, Mr Franklin says “I joined the Australian Army at Keswick Barracks in May 1964 at age 19 for a six-year term. I left South Australia for the first time to attend recruit training at Kapooka Barracks near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. I trained as an Electronics Technician at Balcombe near Mornington and East Hills in Sydney”. He continues with “In December 1966, I was posted to 103 Signal Squadron Nui Dat in South Vietnam.”

Recalling the tragedies that the Vietnam war reaped on him, Mr. Franklin says, “I had an extraordinary friend I met at recruit training at Kapooka, Signalman Ian "Lofty" Logan.  We were both country boys, Lofty from Mildura and me from Port Lincoln. We celebrated my birthday together at Nui Dat. Lofty was on patrol with an American unit when he died from explosive wounds.” The following month, he continued, “103 Signal Squadron returned to Australia and was replaced by 104 in June 1967. I did have a great mate, Corporal Dennis Connelly, another country boy from Mudgee in NSW in that unit. We met at corps training two years earlier. Dennis helped me with my grief at the loss of Lofty. In August, he was tragically killed and died in my arms. I returned home in time for Christmas.”

Before retiring in 1970 at Keswick, Mr. Franklin recalls his final posting “it was at 110 Signal Squadron at Vung Tau. It was like a holiday camp on the "sandhill". My best friend Paul and I climbed up a huge cliff to take some great photos of the South China Sea. Unknown to us, it was a Rest and Recreation camp for North Vietnamese. After a real fright, when they ran towards their weapons, we sat down and happily showed each other photos of our families while drinking a mug of black tea. I returned home to Keswick in May 1970 and retired.”

Mr. Franklin faced many challenges after he completed his service, “my mates who died in Vietnam left me grief-stricken. I struggled with the many anti-war marches and demonstrations.” He disclosed. Continuing, Mr. Franklins says “My memory was a mess because I still could not remember the last three months of my first tour. In 2008 I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.”

Work was also scarce, with non-available in Port Lincoln or Adelaide, Mr Franklin found employment in Melbourne as a test technician at Eriksson in the telephone exchange industry. After nearly 20 years working as a technician, he began to drive Taxis, which he did until 2008.

Mr. Franklin then took the War Service Pension, early, to study a Law/Arts degree at Latrobe University which he completed in 2014. He is now doing a Master of Laws degree at La Trobe, and as a casual lecturer, tutors Aboriginal and Torres Strait students at both Deakin and Victoria Universities.

For Mr. Franklin's full interview, click here.