A Few Ways To Be Respectful On January 26

At all times Reconciliation SA aims to actively promote deep respect and pride for First Nations culture and connection to country. The importance of unlearning and relearning the truth about Australia’s settlement is essential if we are truly committed to a just and reconciled society.

This is particularly pertinent on Australia Day, where we take great care to ensure that this deep respect is infused into everything that we undertake as part of our commemorations. But in doing so we acknowledge that the 26th of January is a date that, for many, is a reminder of the hurt, trauma and dispossession of First Nations people from this country, which was directly caused by the arrival of Europeans to this land.

Our desire is that Australia Day is a time, above all, for inclusion, as well as an opportunity for a greater understanding of our shared history and how this truth can play a part in the coming together for a unified national identity.

With this in mind, Reconciliation South Australia has developed a ‘STARTER LIST’ on a few ways we can all be respectful on January 26, this list is by no means exhaustive, but provides the beginnings for others to start this important opportunity to learn, respect and cherish the longest living culture in the world.

First Nations involvement in Australia Day Council SA to continue

For the third year running the Australia Day Council of South Australia has given a platform to First Nations people wanting to ensure their voice is heard during the proceedings of January 26.

ADCSA Chief Executive Officer Jan Chorley says this year’s Australia Day theme is encouraging South Australians to “Reflect, Respect and Celebrate. The Story of Us.”

The day will kick off from 8am Set against the picturesque backdrop of Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla with a Smoking Ceremony that will be presented by 2020 Australian of the Year Award nominee, Zibeon Fielding, and performed by world renowned Senior Elder, Major Sumner.  encouraging South Australians to participate with the Dusty Feet Mob and experience truth telling with First Nations peoples.

Attendees will also be treated to songs from the heart by Singer Glenn Skuthorpe, truth telling by Rosemary Wanganeen, and traditional dance from Port Augusta’s Dusty Feet Mob.

“We’ve been working together with members of First Nations communities to ensure a day of meaning is created for all,” Ms Chorley says. “More than ever before, ADCSA encourages every Australian to acknowledge Australia Day in a way that is meaningful to them.”

This particular event is sold out, but the event will be streamed on Youtube for those who are unable to attend in person.

For the full program of event, see below.

 Australia Day 2021 FREE event program - Adelaide:

  • Adelaide Central Market - Thursday 21 January, Friday 22 January, Saturday 23 January:
  • 11am until 2pm at the Market Kitchen. Multicultural cooking demonstrations in conversation with Rosa Mato and Kevin Kropineri, kids activities and interactive art by local artist Cynthia Schwertsik.
  • Rundle Mall – Saturday 23 January, Sunday 24 January, Monday 25 January, Tuesday 26 January:
  • 11am until 2pm at the Gawler Place canopy. Rundle Mall will come alive this Australia Day with a euphony of sounds and sights that tell the story of us. Join us in Gawler Place as we reflect, respect and celebrate through a free daily program of live music, storytelling and participatory art.
  • Tuesday 26 January:
  • As the sun rises on 26 January , connect with the world’s oldest living culture at

the 2021 January 26 Smoking Ceremony at Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, 8am until 9am with Kaurna Elders.

Bookings essential at australiadaysa.com.au

  • Aus Day in the Arena at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Two shows at 12.30pm and 6.30pm featuring headline act Birds of Tokyo, a Welcome to Country ceremony, civic ceremonies, parade honouring our multicultural communities and frontline workers, Australian Girls Choir and Tutti and Nexus Orchestra conducted by Julian Feraretto.

Bookings essential. Tickets at australiadaysa.com.au.






Generation of Change in 2020

During November and December Reconciliation SA ran our nationally recognised program Generation of Change, supporting students and teachers in years 7-12 to explore their own abilities to respond to racism. Incorporating ActNow’s interactive Forum Theatre performance Responding to Racism, participants were supported to conceptualise and identify various forms of racism, encouraging them to develop appropriate response strategies.

The silver lining from 2020 must be that we were able to pilot delivery of Generation of Change to individual schools, rather than the off-site model (to small groups of students from multiple schools) we provided in the past. The deliveries saw engagement from almost 500 students and 47 teachers across SA. Due to COVID-19, a fifth session has been rescheduled to February 2021.

We need something like this for every student in our school. I feel that it wouldn’t solve everything, but that it will have a positive impact on some people which is a start. (Year 9 student)

It makes [people] think about their choices. Nathan’s story really inspired and made me stand against racism till my last breath. (Year 10 student)

These adapted deliveries were accompanied for the first time by professional development sessions and resources for teachers, facilitating deeper discussion of the underpinning concepts and supporting commitment to longer-term planning for their school’s anti-racism education. Teacher feedback was extremely positive, with schools eager to engage with us through 2021 to develop concerted anti-racism strategies. This is heartening as it indicates an appetite for responding to racisms, and reconciliation more broadly, within school communities.

My first experience of this program and I liked the way students’ voices and opinions are prioritised and valued.

This was an excellent resource to access to provoke thought and action. We would really benefit from ongoing support to target racism.

We look forward to working with these schools throughout 2021 and engaging more and more schools in anti-racism education with our reviewed and updated Generation of Change program.


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.



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.