Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Acknowledging Gadigal Country

The City acknowledges the Gadigal of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney.

In 1788, the British established a convict outpost on the shores of Sydney Harbour. This had far reaching and devastating impacts on the Eora Nation, including the occupation and appropriation of their traditional lands.

Despite the destructive impact of this invasion, Aboriginal culture endured and is now globally recognised as one of the world’s oldest living cultures.

The Council of the City of Sydney recognises that, by acknowledging our shared past, we are laying the groundwork for a future which embraces all Australians, a future based on mutual respect and shared responsibility for our land.

Signs in the City's parks now welcome people with the words bujari gamarruwa, which means ‘good day’ in the language of the Gadigal. Hear the pronunciation of bujari gamarruwa and find out more about the Aboriginal language of Sydney.

 Bujari Gamarruwa (Good Day)


Welcome to Country

As a mark of respect to the traditional custodians of Sydney, the City incorporates 'Welcome to Country' and 'Acknowledgement of Country' proceedings for appropriate events, functions and meetings.

We encourage other organisations in the local area to do the same and, as we receive many requests, we have put together a guide to organising a Welcome to Country.

Every year before Sydney's world-renowned New Year's Eve celebrations get underway, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land.

Before the 2015 New Year's Eve fireworks, the City displayed the message "Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land" on the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Watch the full Welcome to Country below.

Recognising the First Peoples of Australia

Our Constitution has served Australia well in many ways, but it doesn't recognise the first chapter of our national story.

Today, Australia prides itself on being a place of fairness. But our founding document is yet to recognise the people who have lived in this land for tens of thousands of years and are custodians of the world's oldest continuing cultures. 

The City of Sydney supports the Recognise campaign to fix the historical exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from Australia's Constitution, and remove racial discrimination from it.

We encourage you to find out more about the Recognise campaign for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and support this important amendment to our Constitution. 

Tony Albert, the artist creating the City’s artwork in honour of our Coloured Diggers, talks about the importance of constitutional recognition.

Last updated: Monday, 30 May 2016