COVID-19 delays celebrations to mark 40 years since ‘groundbreaking’ APY Lands Act

Under the legislation, the SA parliament gave Aboriginal people the right to 103,000 square kilometers of land in the far northwest of South Australia. About 2,500 people live in the region.

It was hailed as the first such agreement of its kind.

The region is governed by an elected board of directors made up of traditional owners, reporting directly to the South Australian Prime Minister.

Source: Supplied: APY Lands

“The Anangu in the far northwest of South Australia successfully reclaimed their land 40 years ago,” said Richard King, APY’s general manager.

“While much has happened and life has improved across the country, much remains to be done.”

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 to the remote region, the celebrations have been postponed to April 10 next year.

The festival is set to play hosts for artists and guests across the country.

South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall, who last visited the APY Lands in September 2020, will attend the celebration next year, funded with state support.

“While the celebration has been postponed to early next year due to COVID-19, I look forward to revisiting the APY Lands when they can take place,” he said in a statement.

“In the meantime, I congratulate the APY administration on its continued work to protect the people on land from COVID.”

According to the federal health department, as of Sept. 29, 39.01 percent of Indigenous adults living in the South Australian outback have received one vaccine dose, while 25.63 percent have been fully vaccinated.

In the wider South Australian population, 68.9 percent have had one dose and 50.8 percent have had two doses.

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