Known as 'The Premier's Initiative' the South Australian Aboriginal Sports training Academy (SAASTA) was developed as a result of the Honourable Michael Rann's direction that the state government's Social Inclusion Board (SIB) undertake a review of Aboriginal health and wellbeing with the aim of providing recommendations of strategies that would break the cycle of disadvantage for Aboriginal people. Following consultation with the state-wide Aboriginal community and several state government agencies, an agreement was reached to focus on improving Aboriginal health and wellbeing through sports, recreation and the arts.
In August 2004, the Social Inclusion Board endorsed a proposal to progress stage one of the Aboriginal Health reference, the development of an Aboriginal Sports Training Academy. In August 2005, the Premier launched SAASTA as a Social Inclusion initiative within the then Department of Education & Children's Services (DECS).
This saw the state wide expansion of the South Australian Indigenous Sports Training Academy (SAISTA), which formerly operated out of the Para West Adult Campus in Adelaide's north, to become the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA).
Fast forward to 2015 and SAASTA is centrally managed by a multi-disciplinary team which oversees 15 academy sites with students from 45 secondary schools participating in the program.
In 2009 SAASTA was recognised by the South Australian Government as COAG's Indigenous Reform 'Best Practice Model'.