- be a First Nations person
- be enrolled on the State Electoral Roll
- meet eligibility criteria.
- address the Parliament on particular Bills of interest to First Nations people
- make an annual address to the House of Assembly
- provide reports to Parliament on matters of interest
- engage with Ministers and Chief Executives about the operations, expenditure, budget and priorities of their departments in annual meetings.
Where did this model come from?
Between August and October 2022, the Commissioner for First Nations Voice conducted state-wide meetings, forums and community engagement sessions. This model was developed as a result of what was heard.
Why is this change needed?
This is a historic opportunity for South Australian First Nations people. A Voice to Parliament and a voice within Parliament will give First Nations people the chance to be heard at the highest level of decision-making in our state, and help improve wellbeing and social justice outcomes.
The draft Bill proposes a strong, independent and direct line of communication for First Nations peoples in South Australia to government and parliament.
What is the proposed structure of the First Nations Voice to South Australia's Parliament?
The First Nations Voice Bill 2022 proposes the model has two levels – a Local First Nations Voice and a State First Nations Voice.
Regions would be established across South Australia, each with their own Local First Nations Voice. The number of members and regions has yet to be determined but each Local First Nations Voice would have an equal number of male and female members.
The State First Nations Voice would comprise two of the elected members of each Local First Nations Voice (the appointed joint presiding members).
The Local First Nations Voice would engage with the local community on matters of interest to First Nations people.
The Local Voice would inform and advise the State First Nations Voice, which would advise and engage with State Parliament and the State Government, including Cabinet Ministers and departmental Chief Executives.
How would members be chosen?
Members of the Local First Nations Voice would be elected by First Nations people through an election process managed by the Electoral Commission of South Australia.
Each Local First Nations Voice would appoint a male and female joint presiding member. The joint presiding members would automatically be the Local Voice’s representatives on the State Voice.
How are the boundaries being decided?
The boundaries and number of regions is yet to be decided. Potential models for the Voice are currently being considered, with the Commissioner for First Nations Voice coming back to talk to the First Nations community in November and December, as well as receiving submissions via yourSAy.
Who will be able to nominate for election to the Local First Nations Voice?
A person who wishes to nominate for a Local First Nations Voice must:
A person would be eligible to vote in a Local First Nations Voice election if they are a First Nations person and they are on the State Electoral Roll.
When would elections be held?
The draft Bill proposes that elections would normally be held on the same day as the State election. A First Nations person who is eligible to vote in the State election will be able to request an additional ballot paper for the Local First Nations Voice elections.
Voting will be in person, with postal voting and pre-poll voting available if voting in person is not possible.
As the next State election will not be held until 2026 it is intended that an initial election of Local First Nations Voice will be held separately prior to this. The procedures for the initial election are still to be determined.
What will the First Nations Voice be able to have their say on in State Parliament?
The State First Nations Voice would engage with and provide advice to Parliament on matters of importance to First Nations people from across South Australia as well as on their aspirations.
The State First Nations Voice would talk with the Local First Nations Voices on matters of interest and present those views to the South Australian Parliament, the government and other bodies and persons.
Will the First Nations Voice provide advice directly to State Parliament?
The State First Nations Voice would be able to engage with and provide advice directly to Parliament. The draft Bill proposes the State First Nations Voice will be able to:
How will members of the Voice be renumerated for their time and other expenses?
The draft Bill proposes that members will be entitled to such remuneration, allowances and expenses as may be determined by the Governor.
The draft Bill also proposes that the Minister must provide each Local First Nations Voice and the State First Nations Voice with the resources that each body reasonably needs for carrying out its functions under the legislation.
When will this be established?
Once the Commissioner for First Nations Voice has completed engagement with the community, the draft Bill will be reviewed and refined based on the feedback received. After these changes it’s expected the Bill will be introduced to State Parliament for consideration in early 2023.
What capacity would there be for the First Nations Voice to establish committees?
The proposed model would allow the Local and State First Nations Voices to establish committees to advise them or carry out functions on their behalf, such as committees of Elders and younger First Nations people.
How can I learn more?
Read the fact sheets which explains the engagement so far and the proposed model.
You can read the Commissioner for First Nations Voice Engagement Report on the engagement so far or read the draft Bill.
There is also information on the AGD website.