We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney.
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
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 13 May 2019
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
NewsHow to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021 onlineEnjoy art, performance, talks and shopping in the comfort and safety of your home.5 July 2021
NewsAboriginal fire stick farming: close-to-home carbon offsettingWe’ve signed a deal with Aboriginal carbon farmers to help reduce our emissions11 March 2021
NewsMarking a milestone in reconciliation journeyAction plan highlights long-term strategies to engage and support Indigenous communities.10 December 2020
NewsNAIDOC in the City goes online for 2020Enjoy music, dance, discussion and shopping in the comfort and safety of your home.3 November 2020
NewsAustralian feminist icons illuminate Sydney laneway for International Women’s Day‘Patchwork of Light’ by Lara Schnitger champions equality for all.4 March 2020
Newsuntitled (maraong manaóuwi): Jonathan Jones speaksDiscover the back story to Jonathan Jones’ epic installation at Hyde Park Barracks.2 March 2020
NewsYabun Festival brings together music, dance and ideasOne of the country’s largest gatherings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.20 January 2020
NewsMessages of welcome from Gadigal land for Sydney New Year’s EveAn age-old Aboriginal custom is at the heart of this year’s Calling Country ceremony.6 December 2019
News6 ways First Peoples’ stories define Sydney’s Harbour WalkArtworks, language and sitelines weave together 9km of the foreshore.4 December 2019
NewsLive blog: NAIDOC in the City - Hyde Park A free celebration of the world’s longest living Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.5 July 2019
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.