Kaurna Native Title Determination

Adelaide is located on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people.

The City of Adelaide acknowledges that we are meeting on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. And we also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

Kaurna NT determination

In 1993, the groundbreaking Mabo decision was made where the rights and interests of Australia's First Nations people was recognised for the first time. Following this, the Australian Parliament passed a law, The Native Title Act 1993, which was a great step forward in acknowledging and protecting Indigenous land rights.

On March 18, 2018 the Kaurna people were recognised as native title holders for lands around Adelaide. That event was a significant milestone in Adelaide’s history, marking progress towards reconciliation and justice. Recognising and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples is crucial, and acknowledging the Kaurna people’s native title showed a step in the right direction.

This decision marks the first positive recognition of native title over a capital city area since the enactment of the Native Title Act in 1993. It highlights the ongoing efforts to address historical injustices and honour the deep connections the Kaurna community have with their traditional lands.

Justice Mortimer's ruling grants native title rights across 17 land parcels stretching from Lower Light to Myponga. This marks the culmination of an 18-year journey since the initial filing of the Kaurna claim. The boundaries of the city are situated at the heart of Kaurna country, and the City of Adelaide acknowledges the Kaurna community as the traditional custodians.

map kaurna determination

The Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) was established in 2018 and has been providing advice and advocacy across multiple SA Government and Non-Government departments. The City of Adelaide is dedicated to collaborating closely with KYAC to ensure the community's perspectives are integrated.

The Native Title Determination is an agreement between the Federal Government and the Aboriginal title holders. This agreement is a formal recognition of land rights before European settlement and offers native title holders the opportunity to collaborate on activity happening within their boundary.

At the City of Adelaide work closely with KYAC to ensure Kaurna people are included at every point of the decision-making process. Some of the successful projects are:

For more on First Nations rights or on how to begin engagement with KYAC please contact our Reconciliation Officer:

Talisha King