Ivan Copley & Mia Fantasia-Copley

Currently Under Construction

Ivan-Tiwu Copley is a Peramangk/Kaurna man who was raised around Plympton and the sand hills of Glenelg North in South Australia. His achievements for working with non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples for reconciliation and the recognition of his people were honoured in 2005 with the Premier’s Award for Community Achievement, and again in 2009 when he received the South Australian of the Year Award. More recently, Ivan received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2012.

Ivan works all over South Australia as the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Engagement Manager – Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He was Chairman for the Campbelltown Council Reconciliation Advisory Committee for 6 years until 2012 and has been on the Adelaide City Council’s Reconciliation Committee for almost 10 years. He is a Board Member of the National Indigenous Sport Academy, Indigenous Information Network of SA (TURKINDI Inc), and the Aboriginal Centre for Information & Arts in SA Inc. Ivan is also a recognised creative artist, author, and advisor for Aboriginal engagement protocols and cultural appropriateness, and a sought-after speaker for conferences, seminars, and events. After eight years of work, in 2012 Ivan produced the first South Australian Language Map against geographical locations for cultural awareness and educational use.

“I believe Reconciliation is about Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander peoples and all other Australians understanding and resolving the problems of the past, developing and implementing Reconciliation Action Plans and participating in physical interaction. Establishing National Engagement Protocols, delivering Cultural Awareness and setting common pathways into the future for a harmonious Multicultural Society.”

South Australia ‘s Australian of the Year 2009 was Indigenous community worker Ivan Copley.

Ivan is a committed man of Aboriginal descent from the Peramangk people, the Kaurna people of the Adelaide plains and the Minang people of Western Australia. He has devoted his life to trying to achieve reconciliation and better outcomes for Indigenous Australians.As founder and Chair of the Campbelltown CouncilReconciliation Committee he has achieved excellent results, including the signing of a Statement of Reconciliation by the Mayor, CEO of the Council and himself. Through his work withRotary he established the first clean drinking water purifier in the Aboriginal community of Leigh Creek, having raised the funds for it himself. Whilst at the Australian Bureau of Statistics he arranged for second-hand computers to be installed in Aboriginal communities without computer access.Recently he established an Aboriginal Funeral Fund to assist family members to travel to funerals. He raises money for the Fund through sales of merchandise in his spare time. These are just a few of the many ways in which Ivan is putting his heart and soul into bettering his community. He has been described as a ‘bridge for all peoples.’


Mia Fantasia-Copley


Committee Member for ‘the Gladys’

THE GLADYS ELPHICK AWARDS ceremony and luncheon is the first Aboriginal Women’s Award Ceremony  created in SA for and by Aboriginal women. The awards were presented for the very first time at the 2003 International Women’s Day Luncheon. Mrs Maude Tongerie AM was sworn in as Patron by the Governor of SA, Her Excellency Mrs Marjorie Jackson–Nelson AC MBE.

The awards continued to be presented annually on International Women’s Day until last year when this was no longer possible.  The committee decided to create a stand-alone event during NAIDOC week which was highly successful. Sadly Aunty had to resign as patron due to ill health.

In 2012 the Awards  reached a decade of celebration. The Gladys Elphick Awards Committee became an incorporated association.  The committee of management volunteer their time to advise and consult with the convener and administrator. They also sit on the awards adjudication panel.

ACFIA – Aboriginal Centre For Information and Arts in SA Inc

My wife (Mia) and myself set this fund up after years of request for assistance from Aboriginal people to get to their relatives or in some cases to a well know and respected Community Members funerals.

So we started up the Fund on the 13th February -2008 — and since the Apology in Elder Park we have collected & provided around $10,500.00. to the end of February 2009….this is a clear indication of the need for this Fund.

And thank you so much to those who have contributed.

The Fund is held with the CPS Credit Union and managed by A.C.F.I.A. (Aboriginal Centre For Information and Arts in SA Inc.) this is an Aboriginal Corporation.

Mia volunteers her time to Manage it from our home.

With an average of over 30+ Nunga funerals in SA each year that I am aware of and in many cases that they are well
known people…. this fund may help considerably??

The main Guidelines are:-
1. The assistance is only for Aboriginal people.
2. The assistance is only for Vehicle Transport, Buses or Petrol to and from Funerals.
3. In most cases it needs to be a close relative, but is still up to the discretion of the Chairperson.
4. At least 2-3 days notice must be given in most cases as this allows for bank transfer and we can’t speed that up.
5. Assistance can only be provided up-to $150.00 per Family per year. (this is so funds can be fairly distributed and assist as many as possible. (Perhaps one day when there are more funds available this can change).
6. Payments are from $50.00 for Fuel up-to $150.00 Bus transport-Fuel (to assist with a Group).
7. Application request must be in writing or Email.
8. The name of the Banking institution, Account Name, BSB & Account Number must be accurate & supplied on application.
9. All information is kept confidential; except for the Place, Deceased Name & type of assistance provided. This information is kept to show the need for this funds support.

Ivan ”Tiwu” & Mia Fantasia-Copley – acfia@iprimus.com.au

If you would like to provide Financial assistance? Direct Payments can be made to:-
Bank Deposit: CPS- Aboriginal Funeral Assistance BSB # 805-022 Account # 22491454

Please Note: when you purchase Flags, Badges, Bunting or DVDs on the Apology –SA, Sorry Proof Country or “From a Sorry Proof Country to an Apology”, most of the profits go into the Travel assistance to Funerals Fund.

“Travel Assistance to Nunga Funerals- Fund” Dedicated to the late: Brian W Varcoe and Marianne Ormond


2 thought on “Ivan Copley & Mia Fantasia-Copley”

  1. melissa says:

    Hi my family and i need assistance to get to point pearce friday for Leshay Campbell Wanganeens funeral are you able to help us thankyou melissa

    1. Hi Melissa, please contact Ivan and Mia on acfia@iprimus.com.au
      Yours in unity through lateral love and spirit of care,
      Lateral Love

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