Meeting notes

Panel meetings 2016

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel meets at least 6 times a year.

Main areas of discussion and advice are summarised and made available to the public.

February 2016

The panel discussed NAIDOC in the City and the NAIDOC theme – Songlines. A key focus of this year is involving more Indigenous businesses as stall holders.

The draft Eora Journey economic development plan was discussed in detail led by members of the working group – Norma Ingram, Nancia Guivarra, Mayrah Sonter and Rebekah Raymond. Discussion included maximising employment opportunities through leading by example and employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the City of Sydney including in management roles, supporting business owners and entrepreneurs through seminars, mentoring and networking activities, and promoting Indigenous tourism and authentic cultural experiences.

The panel discussed the review of alcohol restrictions in identified streets and public places in the City's local area.

April 2016

Hetti Perkins, Eora Journey curatorial advisor presented an overview on the next phase of the Redfern Terrace project including an artist briefing at the Redfern Community Centre to explain the expression of interest process for artists.

Troy Daly, UrbanGrowth program director for Central to Eveleigh presented key findings from community engagement conducted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the Central to Eveleigh transformation program.

The panel stressed the need for UrbanGrowth to undertake deeper and more extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities affected - Elders, community and business organisations. Clarification was requested on how the needs of tenants particularly in Waterloo were being met and options to return or relocate. The panel stressed the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to be engaged in roles that influence decision-making at UrbanGrowth. The panel requested that Central to Eveleigh be a standing item on panel meeting agendas.

The panel provided feedback on the social sustainability draft policy and discussion paper. Key issues identified were social housing, gentrification and the provision of appropriate services tailored to the needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people managed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Professor Paul Haber from Sydney University presented on the impacts of the drug ice and provided information about specific services within the local community. 

May 2016 – Central to Eveleigh

The panel resolved to raise concerns about Central to Eveleigh redevelopment with the Ministers for Planning and Housing. The panel Co-Chairs have written the following letter to the Ministers.

Representatives of UrbanGrowth recently presented at a meeting of the City's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel on the Central to Eveleigh precinct and the Waterloo Housing Estate.

The City's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel is very concerned about UrbanGrowth NSW's plans to redevelop the Waterloo social housing estate, and its approach to the development of this area. While the panel supports renewing the Waterloo social housing estate, UrbanGrowth's approach seems to be driven by maximising profits and returns to the State Government, including to fund the new Waterloo Station, rather than by the positive redevelopment of social housing according to the needs of the community.

The panel questions the role of UrbanGrowth. It seems to be both the Government's strategic planner, setting renewal principles, and the Government's developer, needing to maximise development and financial opportunities. The panel strongly believes that the City is best placed to undertake the planning role for Waterloo as it has for Green Square. This approach would help give confidence to the residents that their views and interests will be taken into account.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have a deep cultural and social history in Redfern and Waterloo. Any renewal must be respectful of the existing tenants. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations continue to play a central role in building and sustaining the communities of Redfern and Waterloo. They are also significant landowners in this area.

The communities of Redfern and Waterloo have led the way in self-determination, rights and reconciliation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally. Many of the families living in the Redfern and Waterloo area have already suffered displacement across generations. There is deep concern that, once again, the Government is displacing this community that has fought to stay together and thrive.

We urge you to work closely with Waterloo public housing tenants to allay and respond to their fears, and reconfirm that all public housing tenants affected by redevelopment will be provided with alternative housing and have the opportunity to return to new public housing constructed in Waterloo and adjacent areas. Tenants should be properly consulted about the timing of moves in and out of housing, and relocated in close proximity to each other to maintain their ties with familiar services and their community networks.

There must be sustained community consultation where the views of the Redfern and Waterloo communities are taken seriously and have impact on the final decisions regarding the Waterloo Estate.

Any renewal must also include proper provision of community facilities – open space, quality streets, cultural and community places and services.

The City has demonstrated its ability to plan for successful and liveable high density urban renewal in Ashmore and Green Square. To ensure positive outcomes for the Waterloo community, we urge to you work with the City and the Central Sydney Planning Committee as the planning authority for the Waterloo area.

Panel meetings 2015

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel meets at least 6 times a year.

Main areas of discussion and advice are summarised and made available to the public.

1 April 2015

Dr Liza-Mare Syron and Timothy Gray were elected as co-chairs of the panel.

Proposed actions and goals for the reconciliation action plan (RAP) were discussed. 3 members of the panel nominated to be on the RAP working group – Nancia Guivarra, Patricia Adjei and Mayrah Sonter.

The panel identified the following actions as priorities in the RAP:

  • employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the organisation and career development opportunities for current employees
  • building the cultural capabilities of all City staff
  • understanding the Sydney context in reconciliation and self-determination
  • involving staff in evaluating the implementation of the RAP.

Justin Noel (Aboriginal Community Engagement Consultant) discussed the consultation process for the Central to Eveleigh urban transformation and transport project on behalf of Urban Growth NSW.

The design for Victoria Park was presented. Feedback from the panel is being incorporated into the developed design.

6 May 2015

A decision was made to form a naming working group to explore recognition naming and dual naming. Norma Ingram, Cass Goodwin, Warren Brown and Tracey Duncan nominated to be on the group.

Hetti Perkins gave an overview of public artworks delivered as part of the Eora Journey: recognition in the public domain. The objectives, criteria and project plan for the next project, Monument for the Eora, were discussed. Representatives on the Eora Journey public art working group were confirmed as Tracey Duncan, Liza-Mare Syron and Lachlan McDaniel.

An overview was provided of the research and consultation for the Eora Journey economic development plan. The emerging themes and ideas for action were discussed. Nominations were called for the economic development working group.

NAIDOC in the City was discussed including opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to participate in the event and the new NAIDOC creative, Night Skies by Kamilaroi artist, Suzy Evans.

1 July 2015

The meeting was held at Redfern Community Centre and community centre staff attended to update the panel on the centre’s programs and activities.

A preliminary discussion about the naming policy took place including the current approach to use Jakelin Troy’s research to identify appropriate words. The panel requested Jakelin Troy attend a future panel meeting. The panel supported naming the Sydney Park wetlands using Gadigal words. 

An update on the Monument for the Eora was provided including feedback from the morning tea for community members and stakeholders.

The panel discussed early actions for the draft Eora Journey economic development plan. The draft social sustainability policy was also discussed.

Staff informed the panel that the reconciliation action plan had been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and adopted by Council.

12 August 2015

The meeting was held at Customs House so panel members could see the NAIDOC Week activation of the city model. Updates to the model included a new acknowledgement of Gadigal country, Gadigal names on the bays and coves and flags marking sites of significance identified in Barani Barrabagu and the culture walk app.

The panel discussed acknowledging Gadigal country on parks signs. The panel advised the City to use the words, ‘You are on Gadigal country’ and asked the City to include Gadigal words meaning ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’ on the signs.

The Monument for the Eora discussion included feedback from the key stakeholders and agencies briefing. A short video was proposed to support the release of the artist’s expression of interest and panel members were asked for their input into the video.

The role of the Eora Journey economic development working group was discussed along with early actions in the draft plan.

The draft social sustainability policy was discussed including a written contribution by Nancia Guivarra about social sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Sydney.  

A report was provided on NAIDOC in the City 2015. 7,500 people attended the event. 7 Indigenous businesses participated and continuing to increase this number was identified as a priority for next year.

An update on the implementation of the reconciliation action plan was provided including NAIDOC Week activities with staff, Indigenous traineeships and positive media coverage of the plan. 

16 September 2015

Professor Jakelin Troy from Sydney University attended the meeting. The panel discussed the growing interest in learning and using Aboriginal languages across Australia. Professor Troy identified the notebooks of William Dawes as the best resource on the language of the Gadigal people.

The list of places with dual names was circulated. These were identified by research in 2003 and adopted by the Geographical Names Board. 

Suggestions were made to help re-awaken the Sydney language including language forums, the new school curriculum language framework, and naming places and events.

The panel supported placing the words ‘bujari gamarruwa’ (good day) on City park signs.

Hetti Perkins notified the panel that the artist’s expression of interest for the Monument for the Eora was now open.

Dr Perkins reported that community members are being interviewed about the Redfern Terrace to capture some of the stories that will form part of the Redfern Terrace art project. The panel provided suggestions of other people and organisations to interview.

The 40,000 Years Mural in Redfern was discussed. Cr Doutney reported that the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council had a grant to look at how the mural can be restored and the community would be consulted.

14 October 2015

The panel resolved to write to the Redfern All Blacks to congratulate them on winning both the men’s and women’s Koori Knockout competitions.

The panel provided feedback on community engagement for the draft social sustainability policy.

A discussion took place on the question – what does success look like for the Eora Journey economic development plan?

Other recent activities to promote economic development were discussed including the Ethical Art Forum hosted by the Eastern Regional Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum and Leichhardt Council, the Indigenous Business Month event at Customs House and the City’s success in the social procurement category of the Procurement Australia Awards.

A discussion took place on the use of Gadigal language to name new community facilities in Green Square.

25 November 2015

Cass Goodwin and Warren Brown were elected as the co-chairs for 2016.

The City confirmed meetings were taking place with the Redfern All Blacks organising committee for the Koori Knockout.

Panel members raised concerns about the impact of methamphetamine (ice) in communities throughout NSW and requested a briefing on programs to address the ice epidemic in Sydney. 

Sam and Janet Cullen presented on the Lindt photographic collection (studio photos taken in 1874 of Aboriginal people from Grafton) that are now housed in the Grafton Regional Gallery. The panel discussed the idea of a community exhibition in Sydney to help identify and connect descendants of the people in the photos.

Advice from Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council on using Gadigal language was reported back to the panel. The panel supported the use of Gadigal words to name new community facilities in Green Square.

The design for the welcome sign for the new childcare centre in Green Square was reviewed by the panel. Feedback was given on new signs for City of Sydney community facilities.

The panel discussed the section of the City's Writing Guide on culturally appropriate language and provided feedback.

Information about the Cooks River Alliance was provided and panel members felt the issue of healthy rivers should be included on the agenda for 2016.  

Last updated: Wednesday, 15 June 2016