Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Unley Council last night reverted back to the original acknowledgement of the Kaurna people as custodians of our land, reversing a decision back in 2010 to recognise aboriginal people generally, rather than the one tribe. The decision coincides with National Reconciliation week.


The City of Unley has acknowledged the cultural heritage of Indigenous culture in the local region for many years.

The Unley council area is part of a wider area known in Kaurna culture as “The Black Forest” and that the Kaurna people roamed, sheltered and hunted among the red gums and reeds of the local region. There is also evidence of Kaurna specific cultural practice in the area.

It is acknowledged that the area was also visited by Ramindjeri, Ngarrindjeri and Moorundie people.

On 25 October 2000, an application for determination of native title in South Australia was lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal on behalf of the Kaurna Peoples. The City of Unley became a party to the Kaurna Peoples Native Title Claim on 31 October 2001.

In April 2005 Council resolved to support the development of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) as the preferred approach to managing native title rights in the Kaurna applications to the Federal Court. Council is now part of 25 Councils who are signatories to the Kaurna ILUA, first established in 2007.

There was a separate Ramindjeri Claim lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal on 22 October 2010 (and amended on 22 January 2011). This claim stretched from south of the Torrens River through the Fleurieu Peninsula and over to Kangaroo Island and countered areas claimed by Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri peoples.

This prompted Council to alter its acknowledgement in favour of non discrimination towards either claimant by removing the tribal reference to Kaurna from our acknowledgement in favour of the use of Aboriginal.

The Ramindjeri claim was struck out by the Federal Court on 5 September 2014.

Given this we have taken the opportunity to re-recognise the Kaurna people as the tribal custodian of the Unley Local Government area passing a motion to that effect last night. In future we will acknowledge this land that we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people.