Item 10.2 - Attachment 1

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting 27 July 2010 Minutes







Doug Desjardines  in the Chair (until arrival of John Robertson at 6.20 pm), Bruce Astill, Donna-Lee Astill, Phil Bradley, Shalini Kumari (arrived 6.19 pm), Lyn Leerson (arrived 6.20 pm), Annie Nielsen, John Robertson (arrived at 6.20 pm and assumed the Chair), Anne Stonham and Greg Stonham.





Grant Davies (Minute Clerk) and John McInerney (Service Manager – Community Capacity Building).





Doug Desjardines 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 Councillor Paul Barber, Marcia Donovan, Bruce Gale, Linda McDonald, Jay Palmer, Phil Russo, David Williams and Doug Wilson.




Phillip Bradley declared a conflict of interest in relation to the forwarding of an invitation to a Greens spokesperson to attend and speak at the LGAN Conference as he would be running as a Greens candidate at an upcoming election.




A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 22 June 2010 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RECOMMENDATION         (Bradley/Desjardines)


That the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 22 June 2010 be taken as a true record of the meeting subject to the following alterations:-

1.         Phillip Bradley had also provided information that Australia’s local content requirement for television and radio was being targeted as a trade barrier by US media companies which could have an effect from an Aboriginal Culture perspective.



Shalini Kumari (6.19pm), Lyn Leerson (6.20pm) and John Robertson arrived at the meeting during consideration of this matter. Mr Robertson assumed the Chair at this time.



5     LGAN 2010 PLANNING


John McInerney stated that organisation of the conference was on schedule and that he had now received a draft of the Conference Registration Brochure. Any comments on the brochure were welcomed.


John advised that the brochure contained information on a number of speakers that have now been confirmed for the Conference. Follow ups would also be required in relation to certain VIP attendees and speakers.


He added that further discussions had been held with the LGAN Executive and the Executive had now agreed to include Prospect Hill as a site visit. Accordingly, conference visits would now be made to Lake Parramatta, Parramatta Girls School and Prospect Hill.


Mr Bradley commented that he had recently visited Prospect Hill and found it a very spiritual experience.






John McInerney provided the following update on issues raised at recent meetings:-

·    The minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2010 had been adopted by Council on 26 July 2010.

·    In response to a question from Mr Robertson, he advised that Council had previously agreed to the reinstatement of the Executive Committee as requested by the Committee.

·    Jillian Comber had been invited to attend this meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee but was unavailable. Ms Comber will, however, attend the August meeting of the Committee.

·    Contact would be made with Ms Michelle Desailley (currently on leave) with a view to a final copy of the Burramatta Brochure being provided to all members.

·    Mr Robin Bradfield, who had been acting as facilitator at recent ATSI Meetings, will not be attending future meetings. Mr Bradfield provided a brief written goodbye in the following terms:-


“As you now know, I will not be convening this meeting anymore now that the Executive is back.


This note is just to say goodbye and to thank you for welcoming me to your committee. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you all and to work with you. Being with you for the few short sessions was both inspiring and a positive learning experience for me.


I hope that we have the opportunity to work together in the future.”


RECOMMMENDATION      (A Stonham/Bradley)


That the Committee express its appreciation for Mr Bradfield’s input and he be wished all the best for the future.





Unsung Hero

Ms Leerson advised that her Unsung Hero Award as received on 4 July 2010 had been most unexpected. Ms Leerson expressed her gratitude to Members not only for the award, but also for the flowers and Mr Robertson’s kind words on the day.


Anne Stonham noted that the award was not just from this Committee but from the wider community.


Mr Bradley added that the receipt of the award by Ms Leerson and also the award received by Jacinta Tobin had been reported at the recent Reconciliation for Western Sydney meeting. Both awards had been well received.


A round of acclamation was then given to Ms Leerson.





A copy of the Burramatta NAIDOC 2010 Debrief held on 13 July 2010 was circulated to members. A copy is appended as Attachment 1.


RECOMMENDATION         (Desjardines/Neilsen)


That due to the absence of a number of key members, this issue be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.





Building Bridges 2010

Annie Neilsen distributed a copy of the Building Bridges 2010 Brochure (an initiative of Reconciliation for Western Sydney). Building Bridges is a series of 6 Wednesday evening seminars run from 4 August 2010 to be held at Parramatta Town Hall.


Bruce Cole Reserve

Annie Neilsen advised that a grant had been received from Council to construct an environmental sculpture at Bruce Cole Reserve and a Committee had been formed to oversee this issue.


Ms Neilsen was seeking input into the project from interested Dharug persons in the area.


John McInerney suggested that the Project Committee may like to submit ideas to or have the Chair of the Project Committee attend a future meeting of the Advisory Committee.


Greg Stonham expressed interest in providing assistance and Mr McInerney advised that his details would be passed on to the relevant Council Officer dealing with the project.


ParraMac Activities

Phil Bradley advised that he had attended the Macquarie Feast held as part of the ParraMac activities. A number of interesting speakers had presented to the dinner, including Nicholas Cowdrey and Tony McEvoy, on such issues as:-

·    The Macquarie period generally (Tony McEvoy);

·    Aboriginal experiences with native title and the need for a Bill of Rights (Tony McEvoy);

·    The need to review the corrective services system;


·    The proportion of Aboriginal persons and persons with a mental illness or a drug and alcohol problem that are currently incarcerated in NSW.

·    The need to consider the release of persons held on minor drug offences together with advice on comments made by the Shadow Attorney General, Greg Smith MP, relating to the untenable cost of housing  prisoners;

·    Problems with juvenile detention (including the inordinate proportion of Aboriginals incarcerated), particularly incarceration whilst on remand when such offences would not be punishable by a custodial sentence;

·    The need to attend to the human needs of prisoners and victims.


Doug Desjardines commented on the 12 week cycle required for a prisoner in Long Bay to receive attention from health professionals. He added that magistrates were proposing that ‘mens’ business issues should be occurring once prisoners are released however, this was not happening.


Mr Desjardines added that former Aboriginal prisoners were being released with a paper indicating their Aboriginality, such paper being worth only 20 points when registering with organisations like Centrelink, which was extremely unworkable.


Annie Neilsen also noted that difference in incarceration rates between NSW and Victoria and questioned the role that the media in NSW plays in this discrepancy.


A general discussion was then held on the possibility of inviting the Attorney General, Shadow Attorney General and a representative of the Greens to attend the LGAN Conference to discuss and/or present on Aboriginal incarceration rates and associated community issues.


John McInerney commented that he was happy to draft such an invitation; however, the approval of the LGAN Executive and his manager would be required beforehand.


Mr Desjardines also suggested that an invitation be forwarded to Police Officer, Mr Brett Eason (formerly of Macquarie Fields Police Station) to attend the conference.


RECOMMENDATION         (Neilsen/Leerson)


That, subject to the agreement of the LGAN Executive, invites be submitted to the Attorney General, Shadow Attorney General and a Greens representative (Aboriginal or Corrective Affairs spokesperson) to attend the LGAN Conference to speak on Aboriginal incarceration rates and associated community issues.



Phillip Bradley declared a conflict of interest as he would be running as a Greens candidate at the upcoming election.


Lake Parramatta Reserve

Phillip Bradley advised that he had recently attended a public meeting pertaining to proposed upgrades at Lake Parramatta Reserve.


He advised that certain proposals had been supported whilst concern had been expressed over others such as on the effect a conference type centre would have on the natural environment.


Mr Bradley had raised at the meeting the need for the Aboriginal Gardens to receive better maintenance and signage and had also requested the employment of a Dharug guide or ranger on a full time basis.


Lyn Leerson commented that the Committee should arrange a working bee at Lake Parramatta Reserve prior to the conference, perhaps in conjunction with the Catchment Management Authority.


John McInerney advised that Council had scheduled appropriate works in the near future but added that if the Committee decided to hold a working bee, he would pass on advice to the relevant persons.


Mr Bradley then advised that a consultant had been appointed and a draft plan of management had been produced by Council and suggested that members keep an eye on local papers and local libraries if they wished to view the plan.



LGAN Conference Registration Brochure and other Conference Issues

Mr McInerney distributed a draft copy of the LGAN Conference Brochure and sought comment from members.


Mr Desjardines noted that the brochure contained no photos of indigenous people and further, a photograph of the other side of the river should have been used for the walkway shot. He further suggested that photos from the NAIDOC Flag raising should also be included.


Mr Desjardines then asked whether Committee members would be invited to all Conference events.


Mr McInerney advised that members could attend any event they desired but requested that advance notification be provided to enable appropriate catering. He added that it was likely that members could bring a friend though this was a matter for the Executive to determine.


Shalini Kumari added that she could provide names of possible youth speakers if desired.


Consumer Advocacy Training Workshop in Greater Western Sydney

Lyn Leerson tabled a brochure from the Cancer Council inviting participation in a consumer advocacy training workshop to be held in Parramatta on 12 and 13 November 2010. A copy of the brochure is appended as Attachment 2.


Ms Leerson advised that the Cancer Council was keen to make inroads into cancer treatment for Aboriginals.


RECOMMENDATION         (Leerson/Bradley)


That nominations be called at the next meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee for persons interested in undertaking the advocacy training and in the meantime, members publicise the course’s availability as widely as possible.




The meeting terminated at 7.41 pm.