Item 12.1 - Attachment 1

Minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting 27 October 2009








Bruce Gale in the Chair, Phillip Bradley  (arrived 7.02 pm), Marcia Donovan, Councillor Mark Lack (departed 6.27 pm), Lyn Leerson, Linda McDonald, Annie Nielsen (arrived 6.23 pm), John Robertson, Phil Russo, Gilson Saunders, Anne Stonham (arrived 6.15 pm) and Greg Stonham (arrived 6.15 pm).





Maggie Kyle - Community Capacity Building Officer and Grant Davies - Minutes Clerk








Bruce Gale 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.




Bruce Gale welcomed members and Council staff to the meeting and particularly welcomed Councillor M Lack. Councillor Lack advised that he had to leave early but wished to introduce himself to the Committee. 




The Chairperson reminded members of the meeting protocol.




An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Councillor C X Lim.


It was also noted that 2 students from UTS had been invited to attend the meeting but had not arrived as yet.




There were no conflicts of interest at this meeting.


John Robertson, however, sought clarification on a possible conflict of interest issue and questioned whether Maggie Kyle was a complainant in the Doug Desjardines’ matter.


Maggie clarified that no conflict of interest existed and reminded the Committee that her role was as of convenor rather than a voting member.


John Robertson commented that members and staff alike were bound by the Code of Conduct and expressed his opinion that a conflict of interest had existed for the past 6 months.


Maggie advised that this matter would best be raised with the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lang.



Anne and Greg Stonham arrived at the meeting at 6.15 pm during consideration of this matter.




A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 22 September 2009 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RESOLVED              (Russo/ Robertson)


The minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 22 September 2009 be taken as a true record of the meeting with the inclusion of Annie Nielsen as an attendee at this meeting.





Indigenous Employees at Council

Phil Russo sought advice on the present position with regard to the attendance of Council’s Manager Human Resources at an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting to provide information on the rates of Indigenous employees at Council and other related issues.


Maggie Kyle advised that Council’s Manager had recently resigned but added that the relevant advice was being sought from Human Resources Officers. Maggie further added that upon appointment of a new Manager, an invitation to attend a future meeting would be issued.



That this matter remain a standing agenda item.



Bruce Gale stated that no further advice had been received with respect to Railcorp’s failure to display posters for NAIDOC 2009.


Maggie Kyle indicated that Margarita Perez had been verbally advised that Railcorp would not display posters advertising events in local areas.


Bruce noted, however, that Railcorp had displayed posters advertising the Teddy Bears Picnic and suggested that the Committee could approach the Minister, if necessary, to ensure its posters were displayed in the future.


Parramatta Heritage Documents

Lyn Leerson referred to the various requests for amendments to the Indigenous Heritage documents as presented by Paul Kennedy at the previous meeting.


Lyn noted she had also submitted a list of proposed changes but hoped that the Committee’s requests had also been taken on board.


Linda McDonald reiterated her request for advice as to whether the Parramatta Girls Home was heritage listed.


Lyn Leerson also again questioned the location of the plaques formerly located in Charles and George Streets.



1.         That Paul Kennedy be requested to consider both the Committee’s suggestions for changes together with any individual submissions made.


2.         That Paul Kennedy be requested to provide a copy of the final document to the Committee prior to it being put up on Council’s website.



1.         Annie Nielsen arrived at the meeting at 6.23 pm during consideration of this matter.

2.         Councillor Mark Lack retired from the meeting at 6.27 pm during consideration of this matter.



Maggie advised that the Ms Shanene Hogg’s contract had been extended.


Appointment of Members to ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER Committee and Training

Maggie indicated that letters had been forwarded to all applicants advising of their appointment and informing of compulsory training to be held on 2 dates in November. Maggie added that quarterly training will also be held for any new members or for those members not able to attend the November dates.


It was noted that Linda McDonald, Annie Nielsen, Phil Russo and Gilson Saunders were yet to receive their appointment letters.


Dharug Corroborree

Lyn Leerson had attended and whilst unfortunately the weather had been poor, the culture expressed had been tremendous. Lyn referred to a wonderful computer program that had been displayed on the day on the Darug language.


Lyn also noted that it was interesting to hear Richard Downs speak on the Walk Off and also to his reference to the need for all persons to think in terms of the country as a whole.





Bruce Gale and Linda McDonald tabled a report from their attendance at the 2009 LGAN Conference. Mr Gale’s report is appended as attachment 1 and Linda McDonald’s report will be circulated in the near future.


Ms Stonham thanked Bruce and Linda for their informative reports.


Linda spoke to her report and advised that her highlight of the conference was Linda Burney but added that the workshops had also been enjoyable.


Bruce agreed that the workshops had been excellent and had been timed to enable attendance at each workshop.


Bruce added that the Conference had discussed the bicycle helmet phobia in existence amongst children and he had suggested that the AFL and NRL be encouraged to provide helmets in club colours.




Campaign Against Domestic Violence

Gilson Saunders advised that a number of Parramatta NRL players, including Daniel Mortimer and Nathan Hindmarsh had been recruited to assist in a campaign against domestic violence.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committees

Gilson Saunders advised that he had been involved in the setting up of a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committees throughout the area.


Draft Aboriginal Heritage Impact Assessment for the Former Channel 7 Site, Mobbs Lane, Epping

Gilson Saunders tabled correspondence from AHMS (Archaeological and Heritage Management Solutions) dated 15 June 2009 seeking comment on the subject draft assessment. A copy of the assessment will be provided to all members under separate cover.


Gilson added that he had requested students from Oakhill College to be involved in the dig.


Flying of Koori Flag outside Parramatta Town Hall

Phil Russo noted that the Koori flag was not being flown outside the Parramatta Town Hall and perhaps had been replaced by the Parramatta Eels flag.



RECOMMENDATION         (Russo/Saunders)


That the Koori flag once again be flown outside the Parramatta Town Hall.


International Women’s Day

Lyn Leerson advised that the Mount Druitt and District Reconciliation Group are planning an event next March in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The event will be based on reconciliation grounds and will utilise Aboriginal values but will invite representatives from all ethnic groups in Mount Druitt. Minutes of the Group’s meetings are available for perusal by interested members.


Gilson Saunders noted that the original initiation site is located in Narooma.


RECOMMENDATION         (Leerson/Saunders)


That the proposed event be endorsed and supported by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


LGAN Conference 2010

Maggie advised that a 2 year budget bid for the amount of $150,000 had been submitted to Council and $30,000 had subsequently been allocated. The internal working group are therefore in the process of inviting submissions from three event / conference consultants to ascertain what we would be able to provide. On receipt of the 3rd submission, the matter will be brought to the Committee.


John Robertson commented that much of the cost could be covered by registration fees.


Bruce Gale replied that conference attendance and LGAN registration numbers had reduced over the last few years but it was expected than any conference held in Parramatta would be well attended.


Bruce added that discussions would also need to be held with Rod Towney and other LGAN Executive members.


Maggie noted that the reported experience of other Councils organising LGAN Conferences was that the limited meeting dates of the LGAN Executive could hold up the promotion of the Conference and necessary decision making. However, as we were aware of potential problems, we could work to minimise them. It was suggested that any concerns on this front be forwarded to David Williams.


Phil Russo added that it was imperative that the end result of the conference be distributed widely.



Phillip Bradley arrived at the meeting at 7.02 pm during consideration of this matter.


Welcome Acknowledgement

Linda McDonald was pleased to announce that the recently appointed Principal of Quakers Hill High School had undertaken the Welcome Acknowledgement at her first assembly.


Gilson Saunders suggested that the children undertake the Welcome.


Attendance at National Indigenous Education Conference

Linda McDonald advised of her desire to attend the National Indigenous Education Conference being held in Tasmania and whilst her employee did not have the funds to enable her participation, the Principal had provided a letter of support for inclusion in her submission to the State Land Council.


Gilson Saunders suggested that an application for funding also be made to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Redfern.


Acknowledgement to Country

The Committee discussed obtaining details on those schools in the LGA who carried out the Acknowledgement to Country.


RECOMMENDATION         (Bradley/Russo)


That as it is important for Aboriginal communities within the LGA to be proud and supportive of their Aboriginal identity, and in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, Council write to the Department of Education and Training and request that the Department undertake a survey of schools to identify those who undertake the Acknowledgement or Welcome to Country at assemblies or other events together with details of other support given to Aboriginal students.


Geoff McMullen DVD

Annie Nielsen advised that copies of the subject DVD had been distributed to Councillors Barber and Lim and other copies were available for interested members. The Councillors had been requested to provide advice on the best method to disseminate this information to the community.


It was noted that a copy of the DVD should also be provided to Councillor McDermott.


Phillip Bradley added that he had a copy of the ‘Kanyini” DVD if anyone was interested.


Gilson Saunders expressed an interest in receiving copies and added that copies should also be provided to Senator Marissa Payne.


Next Meeting

Bruce advised that a date would need to be set for the next ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER Meeting at which a new Chairperson and Executive would need to be elected. This matter was left in the hands of Maggie Kyle.


Maggie Kylie indicated that the new Terms of Reference did not provide for an Executive.


It was noted that this matter would need to be the subject of further discussion.


The meeting concluded at 7.43 pm




Next Meeting (First meeting of the new Committee)

Tuesday 24th November 2009

6:00-8:00 pm

Meeting Room 1, Council Chambers