Item 12.4 - Attachment 1

Minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee 22nd July 2008







Bruce Gale (in the Chair), June McGrath, Marcia Donovan, Annie Nielsen, Lyn Leerson, Doug Desjardines, Gilson Saunders, Phillip Bradley (arrived at 6.34) and Clr Maureen Walsh




Maggie Kyle – Community Capacity Building Officer and Elise Mawhood – Minute taker, Tanya Bigeni – Events and Projects Office, Bettina King – Aboriginal Family Project Officer





Bruce Gale did an Acknowledgment of Country recognising that the land upon which the meeting was being held is Dharug and paying respect to Elders past and present.



Bruce Gale welcomed members and PCC staff to the meeting.



The Chairperson reminded members of the meeting protocol.



Apologies were received and accepted for the absence of Linda McDonald, John Robertson, Anne Stonham, Phil Russo, Anne Castles, Clr Paul Barber, Shanene Hogg – ATSI Community Project Officer.



No conflicts of interest noted.



A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24th June 2008 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RECOMMENDATION              (Donovan/McGrath)

The minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24th June 2008 be taken as a true record of the meeting.



Minute: 9.1:  Social Enterprise Information Forum

The Committee requested Maggie Kyle invite Joanne McNeill, Community Capacity Building Officer Social Enterprise, to attend the August Committee meeting and provide further information on the proposed Social Enterprise Information Forum for Aboriginal people.


Minute 9.9:  Card to Anne Stonham

Maggie Kyle tabled the thank you card from Anne Stonham which thanked the Committee for the card they had sent and the Lord Mayor for the flowers he had sent.





Tanya Bigeni informed the ATSI Advisory Committee that she will be on maternity leave for next year’s NAIDOC event, however will ensure a full handover to the appropriate Council Officer.


The overall community response to NAIDOC 2008 Burramatta Family Fun Day, Library Workshops and Mall Artists has been overwhelmingly positive and each event had attracted many more people than in previous years.


8.1 PCC Central Library – Workshops

The workshops put on by the Library during NAIDOC week were extremely well received with approximately 200 children attending each workshop.  Art work from the workshops will be framed and hung throughout the Library.  The Library has suggested they will be running a program in 2009 with a possibility of extending the program to our Library branches.


8.2 Burramatta Family Fun Day Feedback


 8.2.1 General Comments

  The Burramatta Family Day was considered very successful by Council Staff, Committee Members and the community with a great cross section of cultures attending and enjoying the day.  The 1,500 - 2,000 strong crowd was consistent throughout the course of the whole day.

  The Committee noted that Parramatta City Council is the only Council that puts this event on as a free event (Burramatta Family Fun Day – NAIDOC) and agreed it was an excellent way of promoting the City.

  The committee agreed the new venue was excellent and they preferred it to the old venue however next year they would look at providing transport from outlying suburbs.

  The final evaluation report will be completed within the next couple of weeks and will be made available to Committee members.

  It was disappointing the Police did not attend and it was suggested that they be asked to attend earlier in 2009. Maggie Kyle reported that Police she worked with on other Committees has been extremely busy as a result of World Youth Day and had been prevented from participating in a range of activities that they normally would have.

  The Committee were very happy with the free caps and would like to include them again in 2009.

  Councillor Walsh advised that the Cycleway Committee would like to participate in 2009 by organise a bike ride or a bike raffle.

  Councillor Walsh asked Committee members to survey their local committees or community members regarding their attendance at NAIDOC 2008.  For example, June McGrath could talk with the Aboriginal Women’s Group and bring back information as to how many attended, how they heard about the event, or, if relevant,  how they could they have been informed. This information could then be fed into the Evaluation Report. Bettina King will also follow up with some of her groups.

  Tanya Bigeni handed out the certificates of appreciation to those members who were not available on the day.

  Tanya Bigeni thanked the Committee members for their assistance in the build up to NAIDOC 2008 and their participation on the day and made special mention of Linda McDonald’s assistance.

  Doug Desjardines noted that the participants were happy to receive the certificates of appreciation which were handed out on the day by Committee members.

  It was suggestion that a NAIDOC artwork competition be held by Parramatta Library in 2009 and that the artwork be used for marketing purposes in the lead up to and during NAIDOC week 2009.

  Members discussed the problem of the national NAIDOC theme being announced late which meant a delay in promoting NAIDOC events.  Members discussed whether it would be useful to have two NAIDOC themes; a local theme and the national theme. Holroyd Council currently identifies a local theme that they use prior to the announcement of the national theme.

  Clr Marueen Walsh thanked the committee member for inviting Wayne and Dot Parker to the NAIDOC Flag raising and Burramatta Family Fun Day.


8.2.2 Entertainment

  There was agreement that this year’s stage program was excellent and that Descendence Dance Troupe and Sharnee Fenwick be invited to participate in 2009.

  The introduction of the slide for older children was well received and added to the entertainment for this age group.


8.2.3 Food and refreshments

  Members commented that the free fairy floss machine was very well received by the children, however Council Officers noted that there were some concerns as fairy floss is not in line with the health initiatives that Council currently promotes. It was also noted that the increasing rates of childhood diabetes indicates we should find a healthy alternative for NAIDOC 2009.

  Members noted that there a clear expectation by the service club providing the BBQ that people make a gold coin donation. This was not acceptable as Council had previously made a donation to the club to cover their costs.


8.2.4 Transport

  Tanya Bigeni noted that next year ‘The loop’ (the free shuttle bus) will be up and running and may assist with some of the transport issues, i.e. less walking from the station or other areas covered by the shuttle bus route.

  Doug Desjardines suggested we approach Parramatta Leagues club to assist with funding or an in kind donation for a shuttle bus service from suburbs to Parramatta Park for next year.

  As another alternative, the Event Co-ordinator for 2009 should look into whether the NAIDOC budget can sustain a bus for the day.

  Bettina King made note that transport can be an issue for families with young children in particular as getting to trains/ bus stops and then on and off the transport with children was very difficult.


8.2.5 Advertising

  Bettina King noted that a large volume of flyers were dispatched to schools within the LGA to encourage family participation.

  The Committee requested the Event Co-ordinator for NAIDOC 2009 try to secure more free radio promotion.  

  Tanya Bigeni suggested that the signage/advertising for 2009 note that Westmead Railway Station is the closest train station to the event.

  Bruce Gale noted his determination to get advertising throughout Rail Corp.


8.2.6 Stalls

  The stalls increased to 20 this year however unfortunately there were a few stall holders that did not show up on the day.

  Doug Desjardines noted that the Aboriginal Disability Service were very happy with the number of volunteers they were able to sign up during the course of the day.


8.3 NAIDOC Ball

Gilson Saunders suggested an additional proposal be put forward that the members of the ATSI Advisory Committee run an independent NAIDOC Ball. Members requested that Linda McDonald provide an update on the NAIDOC ball recently held at St Mary’s RSL.


8.4 Parramatta Correctional Facility NAIDOC BBQ

Parramatta Gaol was appreciative of all donations towards the Parramatta Gaol BBQ. Council had contributed Kangaroo meat.


Recommendation:   Bradley/Leerson

That ATSI Advisory Committee thank Council Officers and the working group for the highly successful NAIDOC activities, especially Burramatta Family Fun Day.


8.5 Aboriginal Families Project

Bettina King updated the ATSI Advisory Committee members on the NAIDOC workshops she held i.e. Didgeridoo playing and Koori art.  Bettina King also extended an open invitation to Committee members to all her events. 


8.6 Parramatta/ Holroyd ATSI Advisory Committees’ Morning Tea

Shanene Hogg had worked with Holroyd Council to hold a morning tea for ATSI Advisory Committee members, the Lord Mayors and Council Officers. The morning tea also included showing the film, ‘A Bit of Black Business’.  It was noted that Parramatta City Library is planning on showing this DVD to the public later in the year.



Gilson Saunders described to members that during the Parramatta v Penrith football match Petero Civoniceva was racially abused by two individuals in the crowd.  NRL with the support of Parramatta Leagues suspended these two individuals from all grounds for 5 years.



10.1    Request for Consultant to contact Committee Members

Maggie Kyle reported to the Committee that the Community Capacity Building Team has employed a consultant, Pat Johnson, to prepare a report on ‘The State of the Community’. It includes demographic statistics and the results of surveys/ interviews with members of Parramatta’s communities. Pat Johnson would like permission to contact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Committee.  Committee Members agreed that Maggie Kyle may hand over their contact details to Pat Johnson.


10.2   Public Schools in Parramatta LGA

       Members noted that a number of schools in the area are not respectful of Aboriginal people. For example they do not fly the Aboriginal flag, Acknowledge Country, or celebrate NAIDOC week.  Committee members shared their concerns around experiences reported to have occurred at a particular school in Parramatta, including discrimination of Aboriginal students.  Phillip Bradley noted there is currently no official policy on flying the Aboriginal flag at schools.

Bettina King noted that Toongabbie Public School is a leader in promoting good relationships between students and parents and community. 

Bettina King is continuing her work with local schools in promoting ATSI knowledge and identity and will continue to report back to the ATSI Advisory Committee.

Members agreed that if there is still a lack of cooperation between schools and Aboriginal communities in a few months time the Committee will recommend Council write to the Department of Education. 


10.3 National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day

Phillip Bradley tabled the posters for the upcoming National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day being held on 4th August.


10.4 Acknowledgement of thanks to The Honourable Laurie Ferguson

Doug Desjardines acknowledged and thanked The Hon. Laurie Ferguson MP for his assistance to a prisoner in Long Bay Correctional Facility.


10.5 Accommodation for Aboriginal people in the Parramatta area

Clr Walsh noted that there is only minimal accommodation available in the Parramatta area for Aboriginal people who are homeless.

Bruce Gale suggested that Fairfield Council may be a source of information in getting a new hostel or care service off the ground in the area.

Maggie Kyle advised that the Dept. of Corrective Services are setting up four pilot programs in NSW to provide accommodation and support programs for prisoners coming out of gaol with no or little support. The Campbelltown centre is about to be opened. 


10.6 Fundraising event for Indigenous young Olympian

Doug Desjardines tabled the flyer on an upcoming fundraising event for an Indigenous young person to attend the Para Olympics. The event is a lunch and auction at Parliament House, Sydney.  Clr Walsh reported that she will speak to the Lord Mayor about additional support.


10.7 Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team

Clr Walsh informed the Committee about the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT) and their commitment to promoting Rugby Union for young Aboriginal men and women. They are aiming to increase the participation rate in future years.

Clr Walsh also reported that Parramatta Two Blues are playing Indian School Boys Rugby Team and would like four Aboriginal teams to play on the 14th August 2008.



Next Meetings

ATSI Advisory Executive Meeting

Room 1, Ground Floor Council Chambers, Parramatta

26th August, 2008 5:00-6:00 pm




ATSI Advisory Committee Meeting

Room 1, Ground Floor Council Chambers, Parramatta

Tuesday 26th August 2008 6:00 pm



The Meeting concluded at 8.05pm