Department of State Development
  • Treaty Commissioner

About the Treaty Commissioner

Dr Roger Thomas

Dr Roger Thomas is a senior Aboriginal leader in South Australia. A proud Kokatha, Mirning man, he has enjoyed a successful career in both the private and public sector and is well respected and trusted by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal South Australians.

Dr Thomas has extensive experience in conducting public consultations and negotiations with the Aboriginal community and has held various positions on state, national and international advisory committees working on strategic initiatives.

He has presented numerous papers at conferences and forums nationally and internationally in such countries as Germany, the United States of America, Colombia and the United Nations.

He was the inaugural Professor of Indigenous Engagement and Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of Adelaide and the Dean of the Centre for Australian Indigenous Research and Studies, Wilto Yerlo.


Treaty Team

The Treaty Commissioner is supported by:

Jeremy Johncock – Senior Project Officer- Engagement

Jeremy is a Wirangu/Kokatha man from the West-Coast of South Australia. He has worked across multiple government agencies over a period of 13 years and worked extensively in the Aboriginal engagement space. Jeremy has also held various positions on departmental and state committees.

Michelle Hopkins LLB BIS GDLP – Principal Project Officer

Michelle is a proud Kamilaroi woman with ancestral ties to North-West NSW. She has lived and worked in the South Australian Aboriginal Community for almost twenty years where she has completed her university studies and started a family. She is committed to strong advocacy for all Aboriginal peoples and has worked in the areas of youth justice, child protection and family violence.

Latest updates

The South Australian Government has signed an agreement with the Narungga Nation, a significant milestone towards Treaty.

The official signing of the Buthera Agreement lays the foundations for Treaty and includes capacity-building support for the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation to drive development, economic enterprise and collaborative engagement with government agencies on Guuranda (Yorke Peninsula).

The Agreement also includes social service strategies covering youth justice, housing, domestic violence, health, child protection and education and cultural studies.

The Adnyamathanha and Ngarrindjeri Nations have been invited to commence negotiations.

The remaining interested Nation/groups may be invited to the Treaty process during the Treaty term of four years.

Development of Treaty in South Australia

Treaty negotiations are a significant step forward in South Australia’s Reconciliation journey, and critical to strengthening the relationship between the government and Aboriginal South Australians.

In the first half of 2017, Treaty Commissioner Dr Roger Thomas and his team travelled more than 11,000 kilometres across the state, conducting extensive engagement with the South Australian Aboriginal community.


Consultation Paper - Update
Download PDF | 2 MB
Consultation Paper - Pitjantjatjara
Download PDF | 2 MB

Following the consultation, the Treaty Commissioner provided the Government with his report, which sets out the next steps in the Treaty-making process.

Talking Treaty Report
Download PDF | 842 KB

Based on this advice, South Australian Aboriginal groups were invited to submit Expressions of Interest towards commencing Treaty negotiations.

An Aboriginal Treaty Advisory committee was established to consider all expressions of interest and provide a report to the Minister for approval.

For more information


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Treaty Commissioner
GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001

Free Call 1800 532 000
Phone 08 8226 8900
Fax 08 8226 8999

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