We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora nation as the Traditional Custodians of our local area.
Our vision for reconciliation
Our vision for reconciliation is a Sydney that values the living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, embraces the truthful reflection of the histories and experiences of First Nations peoples, and is dedicated to equity, opportunity and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In taking action, we strive to reflect the needs and aspirations of Sydney's First Nations communities and recognise their impact and contribution. We’ll listen to and elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Why we’re doing this
By acknowledging our shared past, we lay the groundwork for a future which embraces all Australians based on mutual respect and shared responsibility for our land.
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 traditional lands.
Despite the destructive impact of this invasion, Aboriginal cultures endured and are now globally recognised as the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.
Cultural support & fundingCelebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Strategies & action plansA dynamic 10-year plan to contribute to sustained prosperity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.Published 30 November 2016
Building new infrastructureWorking with community to share First Nations cultures.Completed · Redfern
Strategies & action plansOur plan to build and strengthen meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.Published 23 November 2020
PoliciesObserving customs demonstrates respect for cultural traditions and histories.Published 12 November 2012
PoliciesAims to support and promote busking culture while balancing the expectations and needs of all users of public space.Published 27 February 2023
Programs and initiatives
We support and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities with a range of projects and events.
Important dates and events
Below is a summary of formal and informal dates that correspond to milestones in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history. We encourage the entire community to celebrate and commemorate Indigenous culture on these days.
City of Sydney News
NewsSydney on the move for YesThousands of people marched in support of the Voice to Parliament19 September 2023
NewsJoin a free workshop to better understand the Voice to ParliamentAn interactive session led by Nicole Laupepa and Jacqui Parker to help you take meaningful action towards reconciliation.8 September 2023
NewsSupport and nurture through culture and danceJodie Welsh, founder and artistic director of Brolga Dance Academy, looks back at the building blocks of her life.7 September 2023
NewsWhy vote Yes in the referendumVote Yes to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution, listen to their voices about decisions that affect them, and make a practical difference.7 September 2023
News5 things you need to know about the 2023 referendumThe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice referendum will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023.30 August 2023
NewsI call myself a story catcherMichelle Blakeney looks back at her childhood and the importance of documenting her people.2 August 2023
NewsEvents, innovation and environmental grants are openWhat you need to know about our latest round.25 July 2023
NewsWisdom of our Elders – the story of Elvis FieldsElvis Fields looks back on the strong Aboriginal community in Redfern and the organisations that supported him6 July 2023
NewsSydneysiders unite in support of Voice to ParliamentThousands gather at Prince Alfred Park to back constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples5 July 2023
NewsVoice to Parliament: Your guide to resources about the referendumLearn more about the referendum before you vote on Saturday 14 October1 July 2023
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.
The 2018 New Year’s Eve fireworks featured a harbour-wide ceremony embracing and honouring the Dreaming of this place and our relationship to it.
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.