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Professor Peter Buckskin PSM, FACE

Professor Peter Buckskin is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. He is currently the inaugural Dean: Indigenous Scholarship, Engagement and Research at the University of South Australia. Prior to taking up this position, he was Dean and Head of School of the David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research. In 2012 Professor Buckskin was appointed the Convenor of the State's Advisory Committee on the recognition of Aboriginal people in the South Australian Constitution Act 1934.

As an educator and professional bureaucrat for more than 30 years, Professor Buckskin's passion has been the pursuit of educational excellence for Aboriginal students. He has worked as a schoolteacher, a Ministerial Adviser, Superintendent of Schools and as a senior executive at both State and Federal levels. He has been Chair of the South Australian Aboriginal Education Consultative Committee and a member of the National Aboriginal Education Committee. For more than a decade, Professor Buckskin worked as an officer in the Commonwealth's Senior Executive Service, and in 2001 received the Commonwealth Public Service Medal (PSM). In 2003 Professor Buckskin was awarded the Frank G Klassen Award for Leadership and Contribution to Teacher Education from the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET). In 2005 he received the Deadly Award for his outstanding contribution to Aboriginal Education and in 2007 was elected a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators.

Professor Buckskin is currently a member of the Australian Government's National First Peoples Education Advisory Group, and continues as Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium, and an Executive Member of the World Indigenous Network of Higher Education Consortium. Professor Buckskin is Chair of the SA Aboriginal Education and Training Consultative Body, Co-Chair of Reconciliation SA, Patron of the Principals Australia Institute's Dare to Lead Program, a White Ribbon Ambassador, and a member of the Australian Research Council's Advisory Council. He has also served as a Commissioner of the AustralianCommission to UNESCO.

"Reconciliation is a journey all Australians must take so that our young country can mature into a Nation that acknowledges and respects Aboriginal peoples as the traditional owners and occupants of Australia. Reconciliation will be achieved and maintained when respect, responsibility and reciprocity is at the heart of the relationship that exists between the first Australians and those who follow."

Prof Peter Buckskin PSM FACE

Professor Peter Buckskin PSM, FACE


Professor Peter Buckskin is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. He is currently the Dean: Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects at the University of South Australia. In 2012 Professor Buckskin was appointed the Convenor of the State's Advisory Committee on the recognition of Aboriginal people in the South Australian Constitution Act 1934.

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Helen Connolly


Helen has worked in a range of policy, planning and management positions, principally focused on the delivery of services by the non-government community services sector. Her experience in these positions led to her appointment to South Australia Executive Director for the Australian Red Cross in June 2013.

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Yvonne Agius

Board Member

Yvonne Agius is an esteemed Elder of Kaurna and Narungga heritage who has a strong interest in, and commitment to, promoting the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage; she was taught by her mum and Elders and is passionate about continuing this legacy.

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Toni Arundel

Board Member

Toni is a Central Arrernte Elder from Alice Springs and a Stolen Generations Survivor. She holds a Bachelor of Aboriginal Primary Health, majoring in mental health, and has worked extensively within the field. She has been a member of the SA Mental Health Reference Group for five years and is currently a Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Project Officer within the Workforce Support Unit at Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Incorporated.

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Joel Bayliss

Board Member

Joel Bayliss 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.

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Mandy Brown

Board Member

Mandy Brown is the Indigenous Arts and Cultural Engagement officer at Country Arts SA. Her primary role is to support and engage with Aboriginal artists and communities across South Australia.

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Brad Chilcott

Board Member

Brad is the founder of Welcome to Australia, a national movement uniting NGOs, high-profile Australians, political leaders, businesses, the public sector and many individuals in cultivating a culture of welcome for asylum seekers, refugees and other new arrivals to Australia. In 2014, Welcome to Australia was awarded the National Migration and Settlement Award for Settlement Innovation.

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Ivan Copley JP OAM

Board Member

Ivan Copley is a Peramangk/Kaurna man. Ivan's achievements have been honoured with the Premier's Award for Community Achievement and the South Australian of the Year Award, and Ivan received the Order of Australia Medal in 2012. Reconciliation SA thanks Ivan and ACFIA for the use of key images on this website.

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Sam Duluk MP

Board Member

Following the 2018 State Election, Sam became the Member for Waite and was appointed to the Aboriginal Lands Standing Committee of the South Australian Parliament. He is also the Chairman of the Economics & Finance Committee of Parliament. Sam is committed to understanding the role government can play in reconciliation.

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Greg Franks

Board Member

Greg has been involved in the community sector for much of his professional life and has over 25 years’ experience in leadership and managerial positions in both commercial and not for profit organisations. He has worked across a diverse range of industries including health, manufacturing, community services, arts, OH&S, industrial relations, Aboriginal affairs and banking.

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Eddie Hughes MP

Board Member

Eddie Hughes MP has been the Member for Giles since 2014. The electorate of Giles is the largest state electorate, covering the major industrial and population centre of Whyalla in the south, and extending to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in the far north.

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Jim Maher

Board Member

Jim is passionate in his belief that sustainable reconciliation must be built on a shared understanding of history and heritage, and that this can only be achieved by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together. As former Commissioner Gooda promoted, reconciliation works at many levels and requires respect and relationships, not just symbols. Real and lasting reconciliation will grow from grass roots community effort.

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Astrid Melchers

Board Member

Astrid currently works for the Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium to implement a strategic plan to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people in South Australia.

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Vicky Welgraven

Board Member

Vicky Welgraven is a proud Adnyamathanha women from the Northern Flinders Ranges. She has worked in the Public Sector for the past 21 years where she has held a number of key positions. Her employment in the community and public sectors (both federal and state) has provided her with a depth and breadth of experience and knowledge in health, workforce, training and management with particular knowledge of the diverse needs of Aboriginal groups and individuals.

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