by Gayle Mather
End of an era for the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association
After over 20 years of hard work, for the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) Vince Coulthard is starting a new journey in his life.
Vince was instrumental in setting up ATLA and has played a leading role since day one. He first started going to meetings when he was just 17 years old, when his grandfather took him to meetings with the then Premier Don Dunstan so he could take notes.
From these early days, Vince has been a leader for his people. His leadership has been recognised with many awards, including the National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award, the South Australian Local Hero Award in the Australian of the Year Awards and the Slim Dusty Award for Mateship to name a few, he was even a finalist in the Human Rights Awards only to be beaten by the then Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs Rudd.
But Vince didn’t do it for the accolades, he did it to make a difference for his people and he certainly has made huge advances for the Adnyamathanha people.
They now have their Native Title complete and have just celebrated 10 years since the first determination.
They have joint management of two National Parks in Adnyamathanha country
They have their own flag for the Adnyamathanha Nation
ATLA has purchased the Wilpena Pound Resort in partnership with Indigenous Business Australia in 2012 and since that time they have increased Aboriginal employment to 78% and local employment to 98%. They also now do regular cultural tours so visitors can learn about the local Aboriginal culture.
ATLA was made an Aboriginal Regional Authority and the then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Kyam Maher stated "ATLA have been at the forefront of self-governance and determination for many, many years and this is recognition of the work of ATLA“
“I’m proud of what ATLA has been able to achieve under my leadership over the past 20 or so years and I wish the new leadership all the best for the future and trust they will continue with work started by the old people all those years ago.” Mr Coulthard said.
“ATLA is in a strong economic position now with the ownership of Wilpena and this will continue to strengthen our culture and also employment for our people for generations to come. We have already employed over 130 Adnyamathanha people at Wilpena and I know this will continue to grow” he concluded.
Mr Coulthard now feels it is time for him to take on a new journey in his life he will continue as CEO of Umeewarra Media part time and he is intending to develop a training and tourism business. He will also be making his expertise available to other organisations in areas such as strategic planning, corporate governance and publication production.
He is also looking forward to spending more time with his family as the ATLA years have taken him away from spending quality time with them, especially his grandchildren.
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