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The 2021 AIATSIS Summit was co-convened with the South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS) and Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) on Kaurna Yerta in Adelaide, South Australia.

The 2021 AIATSIS Summit theme was: Footprints for the future — Tracking our journey together.

The AIATSIS Summit provides a unique forum for academics, government, native title, legal experts and community sectors to collaborate in addressing critical and emerging challenges for the native title and research sectors. As well as opportunities to support and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge and governance.


This event has now concluded.


Kaurna Yerta
Adelaide Convention Centre
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia.

Keynote speakers

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP entered Parliament in 2010 as the federal member for Hasluck. In 2016 he was appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health becoming the first Indigenous minister to serve in a federal government. In 2019 he was appointed as the first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians.

A proud Noongar man, Minister Wyatt has had an extensive career in senior government roles in health and education. In 1996 he was recognised for his work in training and mentoring young people with an Order of Australia. 

Megan Davis

Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at UNSW. She is Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court and was recently appointed the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law. She was a member of the Referendum Council and the Experts Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples in the Constitution; the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2016); and is currently a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

Megan is also a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission and, like any good Queenslander, she supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the Queensland Maroons.

April Lawrie

April Lawrie is a proud Mirning and Kokatha woman from the Far West Coast of South Australia. While the Nullarbor Plains and Eucla are her ancestral lands, her family call Ceduna and Koonibba home. She also established Bullinda Homeland for her Lawrie family out on far west coast.

She has worked extensively with her family and community in Ceduna to secure native title recognition and build strong foundations to deliver social, cultural and economic outcomes and create intergenerational change. This has included various directorships with the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, Far West Coast Investment Pty Ltd, and Far West Mining and Civil Pty Ltd.

April is the chairperson of the South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS) and has served on its board for close to 10 years. More formally, April is the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in South Australia.

Over the past 30 years, April has held various executive positions in state government working on policy and strategy to better Aboriginal outcomes.

June Oscar AO

June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD.

June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on 3 April 2017.

Daryle Rigney

Daryle Rigney, a citizen of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, is Professor and Director of the Indigenous Nations and Collaborative Futures Research hub in the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney.

Daryle is a board member of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, a member of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, a member of the South Australian Certificate of Education’s Expert Aboriginal Steering Committee and a Senior Fellow, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, Melbourne & Atlantic Institute, Oxford University, UK.

Daryle’s academic and community work currently focus on developments in Indigenous nation building and governance following colonisation. He has published widely and influentially on these topics.

Craig Ritchie

Craig Ritchie is a Dhunghutti man and the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Craig’s career spans senior roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and higher education, university access and participation for people from low-SES backgrounds and international student mobility.

Craig was founding Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the ACT Government. Craig’s community sector work includes serving as CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), and Chair of the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services.

Marlikka Perdrisat

Marlikka Perdrisat is a Nyikina Warrwa and Wangkumara Barkindji woman and has attained her Bachelor of Commerce, completing her Juris Doctor in Law, with the promise of starting her Postgraduate Doctorate in 2022. Marlikka works across academia, film, and law to spread awareness of First Law, the guiding principles that First Peoples generated over aeons to govern the diverse bioregions within the land mass currently known as Australia.  

Marlikka has been employed for the past four years with Gilbert + Tobin an award-winning Australian law firm, she is currently on secondment to the Environmental Defenders Office. Marlikka is also a digital storyteller and researcher with the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council, an alliance of Traditional Owners who have come together to stand with One Mind and One Voice as a united Council of Senior Elders from Traditional Owner Groups of the King Sound, Fitzroy River, and its Catchment.

Tony McAvoy SC

Tony McAvoy is a Wirdi man from the central Queensland area around Clermont and he is also a native title holder in his grandmother’s country around Thargomindah in southwest Queensland.

Tony is a barrister and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2015. He has developed a strong native title practice and has successfully appeared for claimants in several land claims. He has also acquired significant experience in the areas of environmental law, administrative law, human rights and discrimination law, coronial inquests and criminal law.

Between 2011 and 2013, Tony was an Acting Part-Time Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court.

About the hosts

Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation

Niina Marni (Kaurna for ‘Hello, how are you?’)

The Kaurna people were officially recognised as the traditional owners of the Adelaide region in 2018, nearly two decades after the native title claim was first made. We acknowledge the leadership of our Kaurna elders and families in securing recognition.

Our native title area runs from Myponga to Lower Light, and from the Adelaide Hills to the coastline and is the first native title determination over a capital city. We hope the ruling will pave the way for traditional owners to gain recognition over their lands and waters within large cities.

Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC is working to build on native title recognition and bring about positive change. 

We look forward to hosting the AIATSIS summit and welcoming you to our Yerta - our country.

About the co-convenors

South Australian Native Title Services

For over a decade, South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS) has successfully facilitated over 30 native title outcomes in our state through negotiation rather than litigation.

In South Australia, a cooperative, strategic approach to native title resolution has been implemented by the Federal Court, South Australian Government and SANTS.

We are proud that South Australia now has over 60% of its area resolved for native title purposes. Much of our work today is to provide support and services to Aboriginal Nations to achieve their aspirations.

We look forward to celebrating and co-convening the country’s biggest native title gathering in Adelaide on Kaurna Yerta land, the first capital city to reach a native title agreement.


Thanks to all of our sponsors for making the 2021 AIATSIS Summit possible. 

Principal sponsor

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is responsible for leading and coordinating the Commonwealth’s policy development, program design and implementation, and service delivery to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

In partnership with Indigenous Australians, the NIAA aims to build trust and deliver real outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The NIAA is committed to genuine engagement and partnering together with Indigenous Australians, and at all levels; state, regional and local, to decide how future policies are developed and ensure program outcomes meet the needs of communities.

Destination and venue sponsors

Supporting sponsors

Last updated: 19 November 2021