Item 11.1 - Attachment 1

Minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee 25 May 2010







Bruce Gale in the Chair, Donna-Lee Astill, Councillor Paul Barber, Phil Bradley, Doug Desjardines, Marcia Donovan, Shalini Kumari, Lyn Leerson, Linda McDonald, Annie Nielsen, Jay Palmer, John Robertson, Phil Russo, Anne Stonham, Greg Stonham and Doug Wilson.






Robin Bradfield (Convenor), Grant Davies (Minute Clerk), Ian Fitzgerald (Manager Human Resources – arrived 6.45 pm and departed 7.08 pm) and John McInerney (Service Manager – Community Capacity Building)





Bruce Gale made a Welcome to Country, recognising that the land upon which the meeting was being held is Dharug and paying respect to Elders past and present.




An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Bruce Astill, Councillor C X Lim and Gilson Saunders.




There were no conflicts of interest at this meeting.


4     LGAN 2010 PLANNING


John McInerney stated that organisation of the conference was on schedule and advised:

·    Invites would be forwarded in the very near future to VIPs, keynote speakers, persons running workshops and sponsors/shareholders. A verbal agreement had been received from keynote speakers and this would be formalised shortly.

·    A conference brochure was currently being prepared and would likely be available for perusal at the next meeting. An associated website would also be available shortly.

·    A telephone conference has recently been held, and another is scheduled for 26 May 2010, with the LGAN Executive.

·    The LGAN Executive has again not supported a site visit to Prospect Hill on the basis the site does not lay within the Parramatta LGA.

·    Railcorp have offered free travel tickets for persons attending the conference.

·    Marie Wilson had been added to the workshop list and would be added to the VIP list.

·    Contact details were required for Jack Mahoney and David Gray.

·    Uncle Wes and Aunty Edna would be attending from Parramatta but others were welcome also. Anne Stonham requested that invitations be extended to Ray Longbottom and Bill O’Rourke from La Perouse.



Doug Desjardines advised that Pemulwuy was from this area and noted that no boundaries existed in his time. He requested that a member of the Executive approach the Executive of the LGAN to further pursue the issue of a site visit to Prospect Hill.


Councillor Barber suggested that an interim site visit to Lake Parramatta would be beneficial to ensure all was in order.


It was also noted that contact should be made with Tabitha Timbery (National Trust) to ensure the all sensitive areas at Lake Parramatta were appropriately treated.




John McInerney advised that the Council had met on 24 May 2010 and agreed to all changes to the Committee’s Terms of Reference, as proposed by the Committee, in respect of the Chairperson/Deputy Chairperson and Executive with the exception of Clause (x). Adoption of this clause would be inconsistent with Council’s adopted Code of Conduct.


John McInerney advised that an election would now need to be held. The Committee agreed that a verbal election would suffice. Each election subsequently held was unanimous, with each successful person/s being congratulated by the Committee.


Election of Chairperson


RECOMMENDATION         (Russo/Desjardines)


That Bruce Gale be elected Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


Election of Deputy Chairperson


RECOMMENDATION         (Stonham/Desjardines)


That John Robertson be elected Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


Executive Committee        (Robertson/Desjardines)


That the following persons be elected to the Executive Committee of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee; Donna-Lee Astill, Doug Desjardines, Bruce Gale, Linda McDonald, John Robertson, Anne Stonham and Douglas Wilson.





A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 20 April 2010 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RECOMMENDATION         (Bradley/Robertson)


That the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 20 April 2010 be taken as a true record of the meeting subject to the following alterations:-

1.         Mr Phillip Bradley had noted that the TAFE ran a “good 2 day” Cultural Training Awareness Course rather than a “satisfactory, though basic, awareness course.”

2.         Anne Stonham noted that her reference to training for members and staff related to cross cultural training.

3.         Linda McDonald noted that the photos of the dancers in the NAIDOC flyers were Donna-Lee Astill’s children.

4.         Mr Robertson advised that the request by Mr Desjardines to approach David Gray for a presentation on Aboriginal Employment was for inclusion in the LGAN Conference.





Lake Parramatta

John McInerney advised that Council’s Open Space Unit had engaged consultants to undertake an updated Plan of Management for Lake Parramatta. Open Space had been advised of the Committee’s keen interest in this site and had given an undertaking that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee would be consulted in relation to the Plan of Management. In addition, Open Space members would attend a future meeting to discuss this issue.



Ian Fitzgerald arrived at the meeting at this time.


Human Resource Issues

Mr Fitzgerald advised that progress had been made in the following areas as follows:-


Cultural Awareness Training

·    The CEO was on board with the concept of cultural awareness training. Such training would also have an impact on the employment strategy and with customer interaction.

·    Council was currently looking at the National Organisation known as Arilla but input and/or any suggestions from the Committee were welcome.

·    Possible suggestions included Granville TAFE, Linda Louis and an Aboriginal Group (to be advised by John Robertson). Any training should also involve the Committee.


Aboriginal Employment

Mr Fitzgerald advised that contact with Council’s recruitment provider had indicated that specific requests in advertisements for Aboriginals to apply did not generally occur anymore. He added that he could not locate any advertisements which contained such clauses.


Phillip Bradley advised that the clause was generally covered in the organisation’s EEO policy, however, certain organisations utilised a clause encouraging Aboriginals to apply. He added that the placement of advertisements in the Koori Mail would also be beneficial.


Mr Fitzgerald further added that contact had been made with Aboriginal Employment Strategy Limited but welcomed advice on any other Aboriginal specific employment agencies.


In addition, contact had been made with Reconciliation Australia to seek broader advice across a range of issues.


Anne Stonham requested that a standing item be placed on future agendas where all vacant jobs currently being advertised by Council were listed.


John McInerney noted that all jobs were available on Council’s website and stated that he would be happy to print out a list and bring along to each meeting.


Shalini Kumari added that Council also needed to consider a programme to support Aboriginal Workers once employed by Council. Anne Stonham agreed and suggesting that a mentoring programme should be considered (Marie Wilson may be able to assist).


Ian Fitzgerald advised that a strategy was currently being developed which may be linked to a necessary diversity strategy.


John McInerney noted that Council had also undertaken to advertise more widely the existence of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Committee and accordingly notifications had been placed in current and future internal newsletters (Parramatters and Forefront) and on Council’s large plasma ‘notice board’.


Mr Fitzgerald expressed his desire to attend future meetings of the Committee and the Committee welcomed his attendance.



Mr Ian Fitzgerald retired from the meeting at 7.08 pm.



A letter would be forwarded to the relevant Minister for Transport, within the next week, seeking support for the advertising of flyers for NAIDOC Week.


Phil Russo requested that a copy of the response from the Minister be provided to the Committee once received.


John McInerney noted that Rob Mason from RailCorp was on the VIP list for attendance at the NAIDOC Conference.


Communication between Committee and Council

John McInerney noted that concern had been expressed at the previous meeting in relation to the subject matter and proposed that a future standing item be included on agendas addressing Council’s decisions made in relation to the Committee’s minutes together with any action subsequently taken.


The Committee agreed to include an appropriate standing item.




A further meeting of the Planning Committee had not been held though Mr Geoff Miller had provided an update on further action taken in relation this issue. A copy of his comments is appended as Attachment 1.


The following general comments were made during discussions:-

·    Doug Desjardines and John Robertson would arrange the conference shirts.

·    The Committee was not in favour of the Cumberland’s Women Health Centre being a stallholder.

·    Mr Gale to raise the committee views in relation to possible performers.



Bruce Gale contact Mr Geoff Miller and arrange an urgent meeting of the NAIDOC Planning Committee, preferably within the next 2 weeks. Sub Committee members be advised accordingly.





Sorry Day

Lyn Leerson suggested that participants in Sorry Day, on the completion of all events and as individuals, walk down to the Lennox Bridge for a photo opportunity and minutes’ silence.


The Committee unanimously agreed.


John Robertson circulated flyers advertising a Sorry Day event to be held at Sydney Harbour Bridge. Numbers were limited and registration was required on the day. Meeting location was just opposite Luna Park.


Phillip Bradley added that entertainment was also proposed at First Fleet Park.


Nomination of New Members

John Robertson requested that he be provided with the appropriate nomination forms (per the Committee’s Terms of Reference) to enable the nomination of possible new members Jay Palmer and Gilson Saunders.


Burramatta Brochure


Mr Bradfield indicated that Ms Michelle Desailly had previously sought advice on the Burramatta Brochure and limited feedback had apparently been received. Accordingly, the brochure had been sent to print today.


Bruce Gale advised that he had only just received the updated draft and stated that he was still not happy with the Maria Locke content.


Lyn Leerson advised that a previous response had been sent to Ms Desailly indicating that the brochure should be placed on the agenda for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee and added that a 7 day turnaround for comment was not appropriate. Ms Leerson added that the tone of the brochure was also unacceptable as it read as if Aboriginal persons no longer existed and failed to show what Aboriginals were doing in this day and age.


Mr Robertson agreed that the timeframe for comment was insufficient and added that individuals should not be commenting on behalf of the Committee in any event. He questioned the differing use of the terms ‘Burramatta’ and “Burramattagal”.


Mr Gale advised that he would send an immediate email to Ms Desailly tonight to stop the distribution of the brochure pending consideration of the brochure’s content by the Committee. He would follow up the email with a telephone conversation.


RECOMMMENDATION      (Gale/Leerson)


(a)       That the printing of the Burramatta brochure be stopped immediately pending its consideration by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


(b)       That a sub committee be formed consisting of Phil Bradley, Bruce Gale, Lyn Leerson, Linda McDonald, Phil Russo, John Robertson and Anne Stonham to discuss the content of the brochure in association with Ms Desailly.





Redevelopment of Advertiser Site

Doug Desjardines advised that he had received an email from Maggie Kyle forwarding to all Committee members a letter from Comber Consultants in relation to the redevelopment of the Advertiser site and their intention to undertake archaeological text excavations. He had sought further information from the Consultants on this issue as he was keen to become involved, however, no further information had been provided.


Amendment to National Parks and Wildlife Act

Phillip Bradley tabled a leaflet which provided information on discussions being held around the subject Act. The discussions may have some effect on Aboriginal Heritage sites.


ANTaR NSW Newsletter

Phillip Bradley tabled the May 2010 issue of the ANTaR NSW Newsletter which contained a number of interesting articles including one on Indigenous Juvenile Justice. He requested that a copy be provided to the Central Library.


It was also noted that Phillip was now Vice President of the ANTaR NSW Management Committee.


Community Grant – Wentworthville Sports Group Inc

Lyn Leerson was delighted to report that Wentworthville Sports Group Inc had received a $5,000 community grant over the next 5 years for a program to engage youth (16 and up) utilising Oz Tag, hip hop and personal development.


Aboriginal Camp

Donna-Lee Astill advised that she had recently spoken to Roger Bolt, an Aboriginal Worker with the Department of Education, who had provided details on a camp to be held for 50 Aboriginal students to learn about Aboriginal Culture. The camp would also encourage attendees to stay at school. At present, 10 acceptances had been received for the camp. Further details would be provided when obtained.


Building Bridges

Anne Neilson advised that the Building Bridges course was nearly completed and any recommendations should be made as soon as possible.


Richmond Hill Darug Project

Phillip Bradley reported that construction was almost complete on the Richmond Hill Dharug Project which overlooked the Nepean River. Some planting and vegetation works were also required.


Acknowledgement to Country at The Hills Shire Council Meetings

Lyn Leerson advised that the rescission motion seeking to overturn the Council’s decision to carry out an Acknowledgement to Country had been lost.


Lyn noted that the majority of letters in the local press were supportive of the Acknowledgement and expressed disappointment that a campaign had been conducted to seek objection to the decision.


Congratulations to Phillip Bradley

The Committee extended congratulations to Phillip Bradley as he will be standing as a Greens Candidate at the next Federal Election.


The meeting terminated at 8.06 pm.