• SA has appointed a treaty commissioner. (Getty images)Source: Getty images
South Australia has chosen a well known Indigneous leader to head up treaty negotiations.
28 Feb 2017 - 2:06 PM  UPDATED 28 Feb 2017 - 4:51 PM

Senior Aboriginal leader Roger Thomas has been appointed South Australia's Treaty Commissioner to lead treaty negotiations between the state government and Aboriginal peoples.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Magher says Dr Thomas, a proud Kokatha and Mirning man, has extensive experience in public consultations with the Aboriginal community.

Dr Thomas described his role as: "the engagement with the Aboriginal community of South Australia and to encourage the community to have their say".

"It's the role of the commissioner is to go and to listen and to record all of those conversations," he said.

"It is not for us to go there and to make any judgments about what those conversations are, but to report that back to government."

Mr Magher acknowledged the mid year deadline for a framework was an ambitious timeframe. 

"What we're hoping to do by the middle of the year is establish a framework. We're under no illusions about some of the challenges we will be facing doing this. But, this is historic, this is something that no state or the Commonwealth has done yet.

Dr Thomas has been the inaugural professor of indigenous engagement and adjunct professor of education at the University of Adelaide.


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