After six months with an interim board, a new Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation board has been appointed to govern native title affairs for the Barngarla nation.
The board was appointed at the Barngarla community annual general meeting in December and includes people from Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Augusta.
Members consist of Barngarla people who are approved by the corporation based on native title determination guidelines.
The board will manage all Barngarla native title affairs for the next two years.
Port Lincoln’s Emma Richards is co-chairperson of the committee alongside Whyalla’s Roderick Wingfield.
Her previous experience includes as a chairperson with the Natural Resources Management Aboriginal Advisory Board and the Family Violence Prevention Legal Aboriginal Service.
Ms Richards said she was honoured to be the first female chairperson for Barngarla native title affairs.
“As a woman I am very proud, I’m a single mother of four children, I work full time and have always been a strong advocate for our people,” she said.
“In my role I will strive to help deliver good governance, accountability, transparency and positive new directions for our Barngarla community as a whole and look forward to working with the community to achieve these targets.”
Ms Richards said it was encouraging to know the community has moved into a new era where women are now being allowed a voice on this level.
She said the goal for the board for 2018 was to have determination handover formalities completed before a formal Ceremony of Native Title handover was held for the community to participate in.
“Agreements, partnerships and co-management are targets we will be looking to establish this year with local and district councils, government departments and developing working relationships with developers, other groups and peak bodies,” she said.t
“This will start and be ongoing in a wide range of areas.”
Ms Richards said the most exciting event the corporation was looking forward to was the establishment of the Barngarla Business and Cultural Centres to provide a space for the Barngarla community to access support and information.