Item 12.2 - Attachment 1

Minutes: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting 28 April 2009








Linda McDonald (Acting as Chairperson) Doug Desjardines (dep. 8.22pm), Lyn Leerson, Marcia Donovan, Annie Nielsen, June Townsend, June McGrath (arr. 6:35pm), Phillip Bradley (arr.6.40pm)




Maggie Kyle – Community Capacity Building Officer and Erin Lottey – Minute taker, Margarita Perez – Events and Projects Officer, Councillor Chiang Lim







Doug Desjardines made 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.




Doug Desjardines welcomed members and Council staff to the meeting.  Doug noted that being without a quorum, any decisions made by the Committee at this meeting would require ratification at the next meeting.




The Chairperson reminded members of the meeting protocol.




Apologies were received and accepted for the absence of John Robertson, Anne Castles, Bruce Gale, Anne Stonham, Greg Stonham, Phil Russo, Shaneen Hogg and Cr. Paul Barber.




There were no conflicts of interest noted.




A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24th March 2009 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RESOLVED (Leerson/McDonald)

The minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24th March 2009 be taken as a true record of the meeting.




Recognition of Presence of Councillor Chiang Lim

The Committee recognised the presence of Councillor Chiang Lim at the meeting and expressed its appreciation that he had attended.  Councillor Lim thanked the Committee for its welcome.


Lost  Positions within Council

Members queried when the Natural Resources Officer- Aboriginal Heritage had been filled or whether it was going to be lost.   Maggie Kyle advised that she understood a total of nine vacant positions across Council had been frozen including the Natural Resources- Aboriginal Heritage position. Maggie advised that the decision to hold vacant the positions was made at a senior level within Council because of budgetary pressures.


The Committee sought clarification as to whether the Natural Resources- Aboriginal Heritage Officer role had been an Elsie Dixon Employment Program position.  Maggie Kyle advised that she would take the question on notice and provide the Committee with a response at a later time.


Indigenous Employment at Parramatta City Council

The Committee discussed whether Council had a commitment to include a certain percentage of indigenous employees within its staff, and whether this target was being met at Parramatta.


Cr. Lim indicated that after attending the Local Government ATSI Conference in Armidale, he believed that Council did have a percentage target, and that to his knowledge Council had not achieved that target.  Doug Desjardines suggested that Cr Lim should investigate what the target actually is, and what percentage of indigenous staff Council currently employs.


During consideration of this matter, the Committee discussed the need to ensure that the indigenous heritage of Parramatta is protected, and to encourage awareness and appreciation of indigenous heritage in the region.  June Townsend provided some statistics about indigenous populations in the Western Sydney region, and noted that outside of the Northern Territory, Greater Western Sydney has the largest indigenous population in Australia.  June advised that this information was based on 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics data.  Cr Lim spoke about his interest in seeing the big picture plan of what the ATSI Committee hopes to achieve in the future, and of his view that there is a need to bring awareness and appreciation of indigenous heritage and culture, as well as providing events for people to attend.






A question was asked regarding the sponsorship money that has been obtained from the University of Western Sydney.  Margarita provided an explanation of how sponsorship monies affects the budget and referred to the minutes of the March meeting: when Council is successful in obtaining sponsorship monies, the amount received is not in addition to the original costs.  


Consideration of March ATSI Minutes at the Council Meeting of April 27th

Councillor Lim provided the Committee with some information about Council’s consideration of the March Minutes of the ATSI Advisory Committee.  Councillor Lim advised that Council had discussed the commitment of $50,000 in funds towards NAIDOC, and had sought further clarification about how NAIDOC is budgeted, given its timing at the very beginning of the financial year.  Councillor Lim advised that there had been some confusion amongst Councillors given that the process of budgeting for the 2009/2010 financial year is still underway and Councillors had not approved the expenditure of any money at this stage. He understood that given the timing of NAIDOC, monies allocated to the 2008/2009 financial year had been approved and allocated.



Margie Perez distributed a list of performers who had expressed interest in performing at the NAIDOC Burramatta Family Fun Day event.  The Committee considered the various performers, and confirmed their desire to have Nellie Dargan, Steve Fogarty, Sean Choolburra, the Stiff Gins, and Col Hardy perform at the day.


The Committee considered that the prices quoted for attendance by Christine Anu and Casey Donovan were too expensive.


The Committee discussed the need to ensure that there is appropriate children’s entertainment on the day and discussed two groups:  the “Chrissy Island Kids”, and also the group “Mixed Kids”.  Margarita suggested that the Chrissy Island Kids may be a bigger draw card.  It was agreed that Margarita would see if she could get a reduced price for the Chrissy Island Kids and then report back to the Committee via e-mail and post before a final decision is made.


The Committee discussed the inclusion of an hour long local talent potion of the day.  Margarita confirmed that this has been included in the timetable for the event.



Margarita advised the group that she was looking at the option of employing a chalk-drawer to do artwork on the pavement in the centre of Price Alfred Park.  Margarita advised that they were currently considering having the Parramatta City Council logo drawn.


Linda McDonald asked that Margarita ensure that Uncle Wes be contacted about workshops and   advised that she would provide Margarita with Uncle Wes’ phone number to facilitate this.



Margarita advised that there was a concern that the giant slide may not fit in Prince Alfred Park.  She advised that she would be meeting with the amusement operator in the next week to determine whether this is the case. If the giant slide does not fit, an alternative ride, as advised by the operator, would be secured.



Margarita advised that the price of the coffee cart had increased substantially from last year and that the operators will not reduce this price unless the Committee devises a way to better manage the provision of free coffee.


The Committee discussed the option of asking for a gold coin donation, or placing a time limit on the availability of the free coffee.  Doug Desjardines strongly objected to this.  The Committee discussed the fact that the operator has been working at a loss for the last two events and that on this basis, perhaps it was reasonable to pay the increased price rather than seeking alternative providers.  Margarita advised that if the Committee were to agree to the increased cost, something else will have to be taken away from the event to compensate. 


It was agreed that the matter would be referred to the next meeting of the ATSI Committee and a determination made.


Security for Burramatta Family Fun Day

Margarita advised that she had received quotes from two companies for the provision of security services at the event:  Ridgeway and Wright.  The Committee indicated that they would prefer to utilise Wright’s security services.   Margarita stated that she would contact Wright to see if they would reduce their quote.


Community Bus

Margarita advised that a quote had been obtained for a charter to pick up people and drop them off at 4pm.  The Committee noted that North Wentworthville is an area of particular need.  Margarita advised that she would work with Shaneen Hogg to determine the areas that will require servicing.


The Committee was advised that the cost of running the Loop bus for the event would be $800. It was determined that as the Loop Bus does not tend to get used very much during events such as these, it was not worth the expense.


Matters for discussion at the next meeting

Margarita advised that she will bring the draft creative material to the next meeting of the Committee.   Other information to be provided and discussed will include information on radio promotions and radio interviews, the invitation list and list of delegates, and the possibility of advertisement posters on Rail Corp property or a Western Sydney NAIDOC poster including the Parramatta events.


Jai Pittman

Linda asked whether Jai Pittman had been invited to lodge an Expression of Interest Form for the Burramatta Family Fun Day.  Linda was advised to send an EOI form to Jai, or to have him call Margarita on 9806 5035.


Sorry Day

Maggie Kyle advised that she would be meeting with Council’s Civic Events and Protocols Officer, M’Leigh Dickie, to be briefed on Sorry Day and would ask M’Leigh to e-mail the details to the Committee.  Lyn Leerson sought information about a Statewide calendar, and Maggie advised that she would ask M’Leigh to e-mail Lyn. 




Urban Aboriginal Exchange Program

Maggie Kyle advised that Michael Dagostino, Co-ordinator, Parramatta Artists Studios, is seeking the Committee’s feedback about the Urban Aboriginal Exchange Program.  The program involves selecting an indigenous artist to travel to Canada to work with the Canadian Council for the Arts.  An indigenous artist from Canada would then be hosted by Parramatta Artist’s Studios.  Applications for a Dharug artist to participate in the exchange will open at the end of May. Michael was interested in members of this Committee providing consultation for this program and members agreed that Michael was welcome to contact them.


Education for Sustainability

Maggie Kyle advised that Council Officers are currently developing a plan titled “Education for Sustainability” and are looking at ways of consulting with various community groups.  The objective of the plan is to determine what Parramatta City Council can do to educate the community on the importance of sustainability.  The plan relates to both Council staff, and members of the community. 


Maggie advised that one of the Council Officers working on the plan would like to meet with members of the Committee in either June or July.  It was suggested by Committee members that the officer might like to put up a display at the Burramatta Family Fun Day and consult with a broad range of community members.  Maggie also asked if it would be possible for the Council Officer to come to one of the ATSI Committee meetings.  The Committee agreed that she could come to the July meeting and that 30 minutes would be allocated to discussion of the plan.


The Road to Better Days – Talk by Jeff McMullan

The Committee discussed an upcoming talk by Jeff McMullan, the CEO of the Ian Thorpe Font of Youth charity.  The talk is taking place at the Karrabi Neighbourhood Centre, and the Committee was advised that Reconciliation for Western Sydney would send a flyer about the talk to Parramatta Councillors.  Cr Lim suggested that the talk should be video recorded and suggested that he might be able to assist with the required equipment.


Use of Parramatta Library Dharug Room for Dharug Language Lessons

The Committee discussed the request received by Parramatta Library to use the Dharug Room in the Library at reduced costs for the conduct of Dharug Language lessons.  Maggie Kyle advised the Committee that the Community Capacity Building Team and the Library support the use of the Dharug Room for language classes. The Committee agreed that it was appropriate for the Library to reduce the charges.


Nicholii Cottage

The Committee was advised that Nicholii Cottage had closed   as agreed by its members, and that the Department of Community Services (DoCS) had asked that their funds be returned. These funds are now being used to provide programs for children and families in the community by two separate organisations whilst another auspicing organisation is contracted.   


It was noted that DoCS Expressions of Interest process to secure the new auspicing organisation closes at the end of May 2009 and Committee members were advised to encourage any interested services to apply.


Aboriginal Mentors

The Committee briefly discussed the need for a program in which the Committee mentors an indigenous person with the aim of that person ultimately being elected as a Councillor.  The Committee acknowledged Maureen Walsh, who has previously served as a Councillor with Parramatta City Council.   The Committee agreed to discuss the idea at a future meeting, and also agreed to invite Maureen Walsh to apply for membership of the ATSI Advisory Committee


Membership of the ATSI Advisory Committee

Maggie Kyle advised that following Council’s decision at their March 2009 Council meeting, regarding the future of Advisory Committees, the Community Capacity Building Team would be putting in place the required process to re-establish Committees. This would include an expression of interest process which will be advertised.  The Terms of Reference for Council’s Advisory Committees will also require review, before both they and the proposed list of members are presented to Council for approval.  The Committee was encouraged to invite interested persons to apply to join the Committee.


During consideration of this item the Committee also recognised the need to encourage indigenous membership on Council’s other advisory Committees.  Maggie advised that membership to all Council’s Advisory Committees would be open to interested people and that Committee members could encourage indigenous persons to apply.



Next Meetings

ATSI Advisory Executive Meeting

Room 1, Ground Floor Council Chambers, Parramatta

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 5pm


ATSI Advisory  Meeting

Room 1, Ground Floor Council Chambers, Parramatta

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 6pm



The Meeting concluded at 8:55pm