Adelaide Hills Reconciliation Working Group

The Adelaide Hills Reconciliation Working Group (AHRWG) is a regional reference group that assists the Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker District Councils to develop and implement their Reconciliation Action Plans. It also provides general advice on matters that impact the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

There are nearly 600 residents in the Adelaide Hills region who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (2016 Census; 220 in the Adelaide Hills Council district and 360 in the Mount Barker District Council). The councils of this region recognise that the Aboriginal heritage and living culture of First Nation Peoples is a fundamental part of our district and thriving communities.

Expressions of Interest
Adelaide Hills Council and Mount Barker District Council are seeking expressions of interest for people to be part of the Adelaide Hills Reconciliation Working Group.

The term of this appointment is for a 2 year period.

Members of the Group will assist in the development and implementation of the two Councils' Reconciliation Action Plans and advise both Councils on matters that impact the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

High priority will be given to people who:

  • Identify as Peramangk or Kaurna; the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Hills region
  • Have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, and identify as such, and live, work, or have a strong connection to the region
  • Are not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, but have experience or knowledge deemed beneficial to the role and function of the group.

Click here to download the AHRWG Terms of Reference 
Click here to download an Expression of Interest Form 

For further information contact:
Lynne Griffiths
Community and Cultural Development Officer
8408 0552 |

Expressions of interest close 5pm Friday 26 November 2021

Reconciliation is about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians talking, walking, and working together to overcome the reasons for division and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Reconciliation is a nationally recognised approach to:

  • Recognising and celebrating Aboriginal culture and contributions
  • Building and strengthening our engagement with the Aboriginal community
  • Acknowledging the impact of the past for Aboriginal people
  • Building a future together

"As Australians, we are all here, woven into this country. As part of our reconciliation journey, there are truths to tell, stories to celebrate, and relationships to grow. Reconciliation is at the heart of our nations' future" – Reconciliation Australia

For everyone
Reconciliation is not a niche topic; it is relevant to all people:

  • Peramangk and Kaurna traditional custodians
  • Non-Aboriginal people who live and work in the area
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live and work in our area

The AHRWG will use the Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker District Councils' websites to share information and resources with the general public. We welcome community interest and feedback.

Click here to download the Terms of Reference for this Working Group

For more information please contact Lynne Griffiths, Community and Cultural Development Officer
8408 0552 |

Meet your Adelaide Hills Reconciliation Working Group

Andrew McNichol
​Deanne Hanchant-Nichol
​Lou Turner

​Andrew has worked with various Indigenous communities as an artist and educator for more than 30 years including mounting a major workshop and performance program for local schools called "What Happened Here?" in collaboration with Permangk elder Richard Hunter and local historians Anni Luur Fox and Robin Coles in 1993. He has worked extensively with the Ngarrindjeri community in Murray Bridge as both as a community workship leader and performing arts instructor.

It was personally transformative for Andrew to work as an artist in residence within the Yuendumu community. On his second visit, he was given a skin name, tying him to kin in order to work alongside indigenous artists under their guidance. This gift of kindship to the Walbiri community had a very powerful effect on him.

Andrew is currently the Artistic Director of the local arts group, Arts Excentrix, (formerly Dance Excentrix), an organisation that has made a huge contribution to Community Cultural Devlopment in the Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker regions since 1987 providing performances and educational opportunities. 

​Deanne is a life-long Hills local.

A descendant of the Tanganekald and Ramindjeri peoples through her grandmother, and of the Barkindji peoples through her grandfather, Deanne also has family connections to the Narungga and Kaurna people. Deanne's mother's family are descendants of the Prussian Weinerts who arrived in the hills in 1841 and settled in Lobethal.

Deanne works as a consultant for Aboriginal employment and development at UniSA. She was a writer of the 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan and instrumental in establishing a Kaurna Welcome for the new Vice Chancellor in 2013.

She is a recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Professional Staff Excellence Award, for reconciliation and working across boundaries, as well as a Gladys Elphick Award, for influencing positive change for Aboriginal people in the workforce.

Deanne is also a Hills Treasure.

Lou is a proud Pitjantjatjara Anangu man with Indonesian and Scottish heritage. He is guided by his experiences of growing up between cultures, families, and environments.

His experiences have led to a belief in the value of reciprocity and Lou aspires to seek understandings and solutions that can embolden processes of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. He believes that this can be achieved through a mutual exchange of ideas and a willingness to heal our past and grow a proud future together.

Lou expresses faith in the process of harnessing collective strengths to raise and sustain a future of united voice that can talk of a national identity we can all own and be proud of.

Jane Longbottom Hayley Willis ​Jade Brook

Jane is a semi-retired white woman living on Kaurna/Peramangk country at Crafers west. She has lived here for 28 years, and a further ten years on Ngarindjeri country prior to this.

As part of her Bachelor of Social Work at the Unviersity of Queensland, Jane worked for a small Aboriginal community-controlled welfare service in inner city Brisbane for three months in 1974. This changed her life completely. Over the years, Jane has worked for other Aboriginal organisations and has been involved with Aboriginal staff and programs in mainstream settings.

Jane's involvement in the development of Reconciliation Action Plans for large not for profit agency has shown her the many benefits active RAPs bring to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal service users and staff.

Jane continues to learn more about her own internalised racism and the reality of white privilege and its influence in all aspect of life. She also continues to learn more about the necessity of truth telling about the real history of country since colonisation and the ongoing violence injustice perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Hayley has lived on Peramangk Country for most of her life. Her mother, an Eastern and Northern Arrente woman, was born in Alice Springs and, when removed from her family, was adopted by a family in Flaxley.

Hayley has been in an Aboriginal education role for over 11 years, currently working as an Aboriginal Services Engagement Officer for the Department for Education.

Linking local schools with reconciliation events and activities is important for Hayley, as is creating more curriculum resources for Peramangk Country.

Hayley organises the Just Too Deadly Awards which is an annual event that celebrates Aboriginal students living in the Adelaide Hills.

​Jade is Nurrunga with the blood of Kaurna with ties to Ngarrindjeri and Barkindji and has lived in the Adelaide Hills for the past 13 years with her son Jacob and their many animals.

Jade currently works as an Aboriginal Community Education Officer at a local Hills school, runs a consultancy service that works with local businesses to support them in how to be culturally competent and culturally safe. Jade is also one of the founders of APPS - Aboriginal People Providing Service and is on the board of Woven. 

Jade is has a full scholarship to study Aboriginal Christian Leadership and is currently in her second year. This is a national program run by Australian's Together. Jade also has a Dipolma of Leadership with Alphacrucis. Jade loves standing strong for her commmunity and family.

Kirrilee Boyd Helen Weight
Samantha Jones

Kirrilee joins the working group as an elected member of the Adelaide Hills Council.

She enters the role with an open heart and looks forward to making worthwhile contributions towards building even stronger communities. 

Kirrilee lives in the Hills with her family and considers the district to be beautiful, vibrant, and peaceful. She is determined to ensure that the things that make it so special are preserved and enhanced.

Kirrilee states that she does not approach this role to lead, but to listen. She would like to facilitate community ownership of the Reconciliation Action Plan, while collaborating and celebrating the gifts that indigenous culture provides for the whole community.

Helen has been living in the Adelaide                  Hills for four years and is Irish and Scottish ancestry. 

Having taught subjects relating to racism, dispossession and marginalisation in the tertiary system, Helen believes that we all acknowledge the impact of the colonisation on first nation people.

Helen sees the intergenerational impact of past policy and practice as still evident in health, employment and other statistics and feels that the Reconciliation Working Group is a positive
opportunity to support change. 

Samantha joins the working group as an elected member of the Mount Barker District Council.

A Hills local for ten years, Sam is committed to using her experience, skills and strengths to contribute to the community.

Sam joins the working group with an aim to communicate the importance of reconciliation to the wider Adelaide Hills community. She feels that the rich Aboriginal heritage and culture needs to be upheld, respected and preserved.

An empathetic and natural leader, Sam is excited to work with such a diverse, cultured and welcoming group to expand her own knowledge of First Nation Peoples and acknowledge the impact of the past.

Ros Cameron 
Ros Cameron is a Northern and Eastern Arrente woman
with Swedish and Scottish 
Heritage. She was born in Alice Springs, but adopted out to a Non Aborignal family in Flaxley in the Adelaide Hills.

She currently works in Mount Barker in specialising in the Education of Aboriginal and Torres Stait Islander students and families.

Ros loves sharing Aboriginal history and culture with students and the community. She heads up a committee for Flaxley Woven, a place where Arts & Culture meets community - Reconciliation in action!

She is also very creative and loves to sing. Ros is a visual artist. 

Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
© Copyright Adelaide Hills Council 2020