Reconciliation committee

Meet the City of Adelaide's Reconciliation Committee

The City of Adelaide's Reconciliation Committee was formed in 2002 with goals to advance reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Islander people and the wider City of Adelaide community.

Chair

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor Sandy Vershoor is Dual-chairperson of Council’s Reconciliation Committee, along with Ms Yvonne Agius.

Councillors

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander representatives

Yvonne Aguis is a City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee member and Dual-chairperson since 2010.

Yvonne is a retiree having worked as a public servant over 40 years and an Aboriginal foster carer. Yvonne is a former employee at the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. Yvonne was fundamental in the development of several very successful major reconciliation projects.

A Kaurna Narrunga woman and respected Elder, Yvonne has extensive experience and represents on a range of community groups that deal with heritage, native title, Nunga courts and the Granny’s Group displaying a great commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

Ivan-Tiwu Copley (OAM, JP) is a former City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee member from 2003-2014, serving as Dual-chairperson from 2008-2010. 019 is his 16th consecutive year with the committee.

Ivan is self employed as an Aboriginal Consultant, Chairperson of the TURKINDI Network of SA Inc and is well represented on a range of community committees that deal with reconciliation, cultural learning, statistics, Australian history, missions and homes and arts.

A Kaurna Peramangk man from Adelaide Plains and Mt Lofty Ranges, Ivan has displayed great commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities over the past 30 years. This was demonstrated in 2010, when Ivan was awarded South Australian of the Year and again in 2012, the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for Community Service.

Eddie is a Torres Strait Islander – a Kulkal Gau Ya, Kala Lagaw Ya from his Grandfather and Father’s side and also a Meriam man from his Mother’s side. He has lived in Adelaide for over 26 years.

For the past 30 years, Eddie has been educating the broader public about the Torres Strait Islander cultures through sharing traditional songs, dances, stories, music, history, geography, and arts and crafts from his own heritage. On an average of at least 50 sessions per year, Eddie has presented material at schools, universities, cultural events, festivals, councils, corporate bodies, businesses and tourism programs.

Eddie’s work in promoting and sharing his culture includes invitations to present at conferences and events in Europe, Japan, China, and as a guest speaker for the International Ethnomusicology Conference in Mexico.

Eddie’s work as a Cultural Educator at the Kurruru Youth Performing Arts company means that he is also able to provide ongoing tutoring to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every week – and through this they learn dances and songs which is then performed in a multitude of public events.

Eddie has delivered numerous presentations during Reconciliation Week over the years including performances for the launching of Reconciliation Action Plans for many organisations.

Eddie is plays a vital role in the community in Adelaide and therefore has an extensive network of connections, both culturally and socially. Eddie is currently the Director, and Co-producer for Nunga Wangga (Radio Adelaide), a weekly two-hour program which is broadcast nationally. Eddie has also sat on a number of boards and committees in Aboriginal organisations.

Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation representative

Jeffrey Newchurch is the Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) representative.

Jeffrey is currently the Chairperson of KYAC. Over the past 12 years Jeffrey has worked closely with archaeologists, the museum and the state government on the Aboriginal repatriation program. Jeffrey expressed the importance of family and country to Aboriginal people and the cultural significance of life events such as funerals and how important it is to do it ‘our way’.

Jeffrey is Narrunga Kaurna man and respected Elder. He was born and raised in Point Pearce and was fortunate to spend some of his early school years in New Zealand after being selected as part of the Point Pearce education program.

Strategic agency representatives

Ribnga Green is a strategic agency representative for the Aboriginal Heritage within Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (AAR), Department of State Development (DSD).

Ribnga has been a Reconciliation Committee member since 2010. Ribnga is employed as a Senior Project Officer in Aboriginal Heritage within AAR, DSD and has been working in Aboriginal Heritage for 10 years. Ribnga is a member of the Jaru nation from Halls Creek, Kimberley WA and he continues a commitment and involvement there.

Ribnga first came to Adelaide in the mid-70s as a student at Flinders University where he completed a BA; Ribnga also has a law degree (LLB) from the University of Qld. Ribnga is a committee member of NAIDOC SA and is also a Ministerial nominee on the Board of Tandanya (National Aboriginal Cultural Institute).

Trevor Lovegrove is a strategic agency representative for Employment Programs Directorate (EPD), Department of State Development (DSD).

Trevor is employed as a Senior Program Coordinator within the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Program in the EPD, DSD, providing support in mentoring Aboriginal youth in a contract of training.

Trevor is a member of the Ngarrindjeri Nation from Raukkan. Trevor has lived on Raukkan for the first 13 years of his life before moving to Murray Bridge for three years. In 1982 he moved to Adelaide with his Mum, Dad, younger brother and two younger sisters.

Trevor is a fully qualified Carpenter and worked in the building Industry for 10 years. Since then Trevor has worked in various roles and in the last 10 years with the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Program under DFEEST and then DSD. Trevor’s passion is to support Aboriginal people into trade based apprenticeships and traineeships. Trevor is also a member on the Board of Tandanya.

Joel Bayliss is a strategic agency representative for Reconciliation SA.

Joel is a proud Aboriginal man who has lived on Kaurna land his whole life. He has a keen passion for Social Justice. In response to a Bill Leak cartoon that portrayed a negative stereotype of Aboriginal fathers, Joel posted an image of himself and his two beautiful children Ava and Isaiah to Twitter. This single image became a national movement known as #indigenousdads with thousands of images shared - turning that negative stereotype into a positive one.

Joel is on a number of boards including Australia Day Council of SA and Reconciliation South Australia. He believes that reconciliation is the process where we as Australians acknowledge the past, but move forward together as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Proxies

Lynette Crocker has been a Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage representative since 2012.

Lynette is a Kaurna Aboriginal woman and respected Elder from Adelaide. A retiree, she volunteers on a range of community committees. Lynette is a Traditional Owner and named applicant on the Local Government and Kaurna Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

She has participated in the development of Reconciliation Action Plans for the Campbelltown City Council, City of Adelaide and Marion City Council. Lynette displays a great commitment to reconciliation, working for over the past 30 years with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in the areas of reconciliation, employment, native title, education, health and conservation.

Deanne is a Tanganekald Aboriginal woman with family links to the Coorong, as well as Barkindji from NSW and Narungga from Point Pearce SA.

Deanne is currently employed as Consultant: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Development at the University of South Australia (UniSA). As an employee at UniSA, Deanne was one of the writers and developers of the 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan and was instrumental in the establishment a Kaurna Welcome ceremony for the new Vice Chancellor in 2013.

Due to these successes the welcome ceremony is now followed by other states. In 2013 Deanne was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Professional Staff Excellence Award for reconciliation and working across boundaries.

For over 20 years, Deanne has displayed a great commitment to reconciliation as an ambassador with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities on issues of reconciliation, education and repatriation.

The Reconciliation Committee is jointly administered by Nicole Gollan, Reconciliation Officer, Caro Mader, Manager, Participation and Inclusion, Stacey Kervin and Donna Sacca, all of City of Adelaide. 

Terms of Reference and Reporting Requirement

The City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee will engage collaboratively with peak Government and non-Government reconciliation groups to advance reconciliation in the City and encourage and seek broad Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Council activities and events.

The Reconciliation Committee reports to Council on its activities on an annual basis.

You can read the City of Adelaide's Reconciliation Committee Terms of Reference

Are you interested in helping out your community on the journey of reconciliation?

Recruitment for members is usually held every four years, however an opportunity may come up sooner if a vacancy arises.

Need more information?

For more information about the City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee, please contact the Council's Reconciliation Officer: