Meeting notes

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, 16 December 2015