Item 10.1 - Attachment 1

Minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee 28 September 2010








John Robertson in the Chair, Doug Desjardines, Marcia Donovan, Lyn Leerson (arrived 6.25 pm), Linda McDonald, Annie Nielsen and Phil Russo.





Jillian Comber (arrived 6.29 pm, departed at 7.00pm), Grant Davies (Minute Clerk) and Kerry Nettle (Service Manager - Community Capacity Building Officer).





John Robertson made a Welcome to Country, recognising that the land upon which the meeting was being held is Burramatugal and paid respect to Elders past and present.




The Committee welcomed Council’s new Service Manager – Community Capacity Building, Ms Kerry Nettle, to the meeting.




An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Bruce Astill, Donna-Lee Astill, Councillor Paul Barber, Phillip Bradley, Bruce Gale, Anne Stonham, Greg Stonham and Doug Wilson.




There were no conflicts of interest at this meeting.


5     LGAN 2010 DEBRIEF


In the absence of Councillor Barber, Mr Robertson invited members to provide comment on the recently held LGAN Conference.


Linda McDonald noted that Uncle Wes had conducted the smoking ceremony and questioned whether he would be paid for his efforts. Linda added that an invoice in the amount of $200 had been obtained and submitted to Council.


RECOMMENDATION         (McDonald/Nielsen)


That Council officers investigate the payment of the invoice submitted by Uncle Wes for conducting the important smoking ceremony at short notice. 



Lyn Leerson arrived at the meeting at 6.25 pm.


Other comments received in relation to the Conference included:-

·    Holding the tours on the first day prevented attendance by certain delegates.

·    The speakers and workshops were excellent.

·    The food provided at the dinner whilst of good quality, was served too late for some diabetics.

·    The conference attendance was disappointing with certain Councillors indicating that they were unaware of the conference. Rod Towney had suggested that direct invitations be forwarded to all Councillors at all Councils in the future.

·    The next conference would be held at Dubbo followed by the Clarence Valley.

·    There seemed to be poor information dissemination at the conference, especially in relating to the conduct of workshops and the direction of attendees to workshops.

·    The conference bags, whilst of high quality, had the Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Flags printed in the wrong order. Protocol in NSW is for the Koori Flag to be on the left side of the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

·    Issues relating to the ladies prison farm visit would be raised next week.


Lyn Leerson tabled a comprehensive report on the LGAN Conference and a copy of the report is appended to these minutes as Attachment 1.





Jillian Comber was welcomed to the Committee and presented on recent works undertaken in Parramatta. Ms Comber advised (and answered questions from members) as follows:-

·    Archaeological works are currently being undertaken at 140 Macquarie Street, Parramatta where Integral Energy intends to construct a substation. Artefacts and relics are being found on site. Works are also being undertaken in relation to cultural and landscaping information. An invitation was extended to all members, either individually or as a Committee, to visit the site.

·    A dig was held last year at 15 Macquarie Street, Parramatta where some 300 artefacts were located.

·    An excavation had been conducted on the Cumberland Press site where the sand terrace had been discovered. Construction on site would be on piers to have minimal impact and to preserve as much of the site as possible.

·    Any relics obtained were forwarded to the Australian Museum. Interested Aboriginal organisations could apply to the Museum to obtain the artefacts. Bearing in mind the future possibility of a heritage museum being placed in Parramatta as part of the Civic Place Development, Council could also apply to receive the artefacts. In such instances, Council would need agreement from all relevant Aboriginal groups.

·    Some evidence had been obtained that Parramatta River had changed course over the years. Evidence had also been obtained of creeks and tributaries which no longer existed.

·    In response to concerns raised by members that the Committee were not advised of the works being undertaken, Ms Comber undertook to provide advice on her works in Parramatta to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

·    It was also suggested that the interest of the Committee in such issues could also be passed on to the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.


The Committee thanked Ms Comber for her attendance and expressed intent to visit the site at 140 Macquarie Street, Parramatta in the near future.





A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24 August 2010 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RECOMMENDATION         (McDonald/Robertson)


That the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 24 August 2010 be taken as a true record of the meeting subject to it being noted that Phil Russo submitted an apology for his non attendance at this meeting.





Employment at Parramatta City Council

A copy of the current vacancies at Parramatta City Council including the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Project Officer was distributed at the meeting.


Burramatta Lands Brochure

A copy of the Burramatta Lands brochure providing details on a self guided walk to assist in the discovery of Parramatta’s Aboriginal history was distributed at the meeting.


The Committee noted that the first draft of the brochure had been changed following input by Phil Bradley and Lyn Leerson resulting in a commendable document.


Council’s officer, Michelle Desailly, had offered to speak to the brochure at a future meeting if the Committee desired.


John Robertson noted that it was his understanding the brochure was to include a photograph of the Advisory Committee.


Lake Parramatta Reserve – Stone Goanna and Meeting Circle Management

Kerry Nettle indicated that advice had been received from Council’s Natural Resource Officer, Sally Williams, in relation to damage received by the Stone Goanna and the Meeting Circle at Lake Parramatta just prior to the conference site visit.


Ms Williams would like to discuss with the Committee better management of these 2 items either at an on site meeting or at a future meeting of the Advisory Committee.


It was suggested that Mr Robertson liaise with Ms Williams with a view to arranging an on site meeting and subsequent report back to the Advisory Committee.


Conservation Order for Lake Parramatta Reserve

Doug Desjardines advised that he had previously raised at the Advisory Committee held on 24 November 2009, the need for a conservation order to be placed on Lake Parramatta Reserve.


Mr Desjardines requested that this issue be placed back on the Council’s agenda.



RECOMMENDATION         (Desjardines/Russo)


(a)       That it be noted this Committee opposes any development, outside the existing developed area, at Lake Parramatta Reserve and requests that Council again pursue the placement of a heritage conservation order on the site.

(b)       Further, that the Committee again expresses its support for an Aboriginal Ranger to be appointed for the site to provide protection and educational tours.


Retracing Arthur Phillip’s Steps

Doug Desjardines referred to a recent article entitled ‘Retracing Arthur Phillip’s Steps” and expressed disappointment that all members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee and Executive Committee had not been advised of the proposed walk.



Corrective Services

Doug Desjardines expressed concern that Aboriginal persons being released from correctional centres were given paper works on release that amounted to only 20 points for identification purposes.


He added that he was also aware of a young Parramatta person who had violated his parole conditions and had been sent to the Muswellbrook Complex which is some 4 hours away. This action imposed financial difficulties on his family when arranging visits and was also contrary to the Black Deaths in Custody Report which required Aboriginal prisoners to be placed in proximity to relatives.


Mr Desjardines added that it was ludicrous that Parramatta locals were sent to bush prisons and country persons were brought to Parramatta.


RECOMMENDATION         (Desjardines/McDonald)


That Council be advised that this Committee is aware of a local Aboriginal person who has been incarcerated in the Muswellbrook Correctional Facility which places a financial burden on his family when arranging visits and is also contrary to the recommendations contained in the Black Deaths in Custody Report. Accordingly, the Committee requests that Council pursue this issue with the relevant State Government Department.



Youth off the Streets Project

Doug Desjardines advised that Father Chris Riley is conducting the Youth off the Streets Project and had recently received a call from a local project manager seeking to place 2 Aboriginal boys in meaningful community work.


RECOMMENDATION         (Desjardines/Russo)


That Council be advised that Committee is aware of 2 young Aboriginal persons seeking employment in conjunction with the Youth off the Streets Project conducted by Father Chris Riley and requests that Council give consideration to the placement of such workers.



Indigenous Australians at War

Lyn Leerson tabled a copy of an article entitled Indigenous Australians at War by John Moremon. A copy of the article is appended to these minutes as Attachment 2.






The meeting terminated at 8.04 pm.