The newly appointed South Australian Government will prioritise implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart on a state level.

Newly-minted Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher, the State’s first Indigenous Attorney General said implementing the Statement was ‘absolutely vital’.

“It will be one of the most important things I do as a minister and we do as a government,” he said.

“I remember five years ago when the statement from Uluru was handed down, there was a level of optimism in the Aboriginal community and in Aboriginal affairs policy that I can’t remember being part of before.

“I think it was something Aboriginal people were really, really positive about and to see it not acted upon federally meant that we as a state Labor Party decided we need to keep this momentum going.”

Mr Maher said the previous Labor government began the process and the newly-elected government would finish the job.

He said Aboriginal people needed to have a large say in development and implementation of policies affecting them.

“I’ve been working in Aboriginal fields for about 20 years now and one thing I am absolutely certain of is things in this area have failed if there aren’t Aboriginal people heavily involved in their design,” Mr Maher said.

“It is crucial to the success of anything the government does in Aboriginal affairs and it’s crucial to Aboriginal people, communities and nations that they are involved in the decisions that affect their lives.”

The Malinauskas Government will also lobby the Federal Government to implement the statement at a national level.

“It would just make it so much easier in a state context, if we have a Federal government who’s on the side of Aboriginal people and on the side of implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” Mr Maher said.