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Established in 2022 to work with the State Library of South Australia and State Records of South Australia, the Aboriginal Reference Group (The Group) will:

  • improve the availability of archival material and services relating to Aboriginal people and culture
  • provide feedback and advice on both organisation’s activities, services and policies relating to Aboriginal people and culture.

The Group will meet at least four times a year either in person, online or a combination of both.


The first meeting of the Aboriginal Reference Group was held on Monday 7 March 2022 and was opened with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country from Mickey O’Brien who touched on the importance of knowledge and of enriching people’s lives and culture by sharing that knowledge.

This significant meeting allowed members of The Group to meet each other and staff from the State Library and State Records .

Learn more about this historic first meeting by reading the media release.

Members of the group

Expressions of interest from members of the South Australian Aboriginal community were called for last year. Members bring a knowledge of and experience in issues affecting Aboriginal people in relation to libraries, archives, and records management, and represent the interests of Aboriginal people across South Australia.

Members of the Aboriginal Reference Group are:

Ali Abdullah-Highfold

Natalie Harkin

Tim Agius Claudia Smith
Kath Apma Penangke Travis Janine Thompson
Elijah Bravington Michael Wanganeen
Jennifer Caruso Joanne Willmot
Deanne Hanchant-Nichols  

Group of people standing outside the State Library
Aboriginal Reference Group. Photo by Sia Duff, 2022.

About the Agencies

The State Library of South Australia is an active collecting institution of archival manuscripts, publications, digital media, and pictorial works. The Library’s collection of material created by and about Aboriginal peoples includes oral histories, audio-visual works, ethnographic documentation, and publications. Services offered by the Library include access to collections, resource guides and public internet access.

State Records of South Australia is the official custodian of records created by State and Local government agencies within South Australia and holds a wealth of material documenting the written history and experience of Aboriginal people in the State. Services offered include assistance with access to the collection and guides to records related to Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal Reference Group contact

For more information about the Aboriginal Reference Group contact the Secretariat on