Item 9.1 - Attachment 1

Minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee meeting 22 February 2011





Bruce Gale in the Chair, Donna-Lee Astill, Phillip Bradley (retired 8.14pm), Doug Desjardines, Marcia Donovan, Lyn Leerson, Linda McDonald, John Robertson and Phil Russo.





Tracy Appel (Department of Planning, Heritage Branch – retired 7.12pm), Grant Davies (Minute Clerk), Tanya Koeneman (Department of Planning, Heritage Branch – retired 7.12pm) and Maggie Kyle (Community Capacity Building Officer).





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




The Committee welcomed Tracy Appel and Tanya Koeneman from the Department of Planning, Heritage Branch.




An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Bruce Astill, Shalini Kumari, Annie Nielsen, Anne and Greg Stonham and Doug Wilson.




There were no conflicts of interest at this meeting.




A copy of the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 23 November 2010 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RECOMMENDATION         (Russo/Leerson)


That the minutes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting held on 23 November 2010 be taken as a true record of the meeting with the following alterations:-

(i)         In Item 6, it be noted that the flags printed on the conference bags were approved by the “LGAN” Executive.

(ii)        In Item 6, the word “leadership” be altered to read “communication”.





Tanya Koeneman acknowledged that the land on which the Committee was meeting is Barramatugal and paid respect to Elders past and present.


Further to the Department’s Visit in October, Tanya advised that the purpose of tonight’s visit was to provide advice on the results of the recently held auger testing and to talk about the reasons for the proposed State Heritage Listing of the Sand Platform.


Tanya added that consultation had been held with the Dharug and Deerubbin Land Councils, the Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee and the Heritage Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Panel.


The reasons for pursuing the listing of the Sand Platform include:-

·    Aboriginal experience including both loss and destruction and also the discovery of artefacts;

·    Protection and conservation. The area is unique, provides much archaeological information and provides information on the Aboriginal lifestyle for the past 30,000 years. It was noted that 6,500 artefacts were obtained from the Meriton’s site at the corner of George and Charles Street, Parramatta;

·    Conservation will provide awareness and educational opportunities for all levels of schooling;

·    Will provide a link to the continuous occupation of the Parramatta region;

·    May result in future sympathetic building design;

·    Will provide more information in relation to the sand body and may assist in future strategic land use planning;

·    Will strengthen Aboriginal relationships in the area, particularly with Council;

·    Will remind persons that the natural environment is continually changing;

·    The inclusion of the marine barracks and garden will provided layered information on the history of the area.




Tanya indicated that there would be a public exhibition period advising of the intent to list the Sand Body and seeking submissions. At this point, the Committee, organisations or individuals may make a submission. The support of the Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee to the proposal had been received and would be reported to a Council Meeting in late March.


Tracey Appel then provided a Powerpoint presentation to the Committee which provided a recap on the formation of the Sand Body and on the excavation carried out at the Meriton’s site.


In addition, the presentation indicated:-

·    The location and results of the auger testing;

·    The proposed curtilage of the listing (northern portion of Robin Thomas Reserve, extending to the 2 historic houses in this area);

·    The location of the Sand Body, which may extend all the way to Purchase Street;

·    The Sand Body is being listed as a cultural landscape;

·    Any relics located on site are protected under the Heritage Act and at present would be stored at the Australian Museum;

·    The nomination for the proposed listing will be considered for the State Heritage Register in April, followed by public advertising for 28 days, likely submission to the Heritage Council in June which will be followed by a recommendation to the Minister for inclusion on the Register.


A copy of the presentation and report on the auger testing were tabled at the meeting and are available for interested members by contacting Maggie Kyle.


Ms Koeneman and Ms Appel were thanked for their informative presentation and retired from the meeting at 7.12pm.


Lyn Leerson commented that this issue provided a great opportunity for Council to seek more Aboriginal expertise within Council.


RECOMMENDATION   (Desjardines/Russo)


That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee strongly recommends that Parramatta City Council support the application for the Parramatta Sand Body to be listed on the State Heritage Register as soon as possible and also notes the support of the Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee for the proposal.





7.1       Parramatta Girls Home

Maggie Kyle advised that a special working group had now organised the previously requested smoking ceremony, which is to be held on Saturday 26 February 2011. Only those carrying out the ceremony are to attend. Requests to attend had been received from researches and subsequently declined.


Following the ceremony, a function will be held at 2pm and whilst formal invitations will not be sent, anyone who feels the issue may be of personal significance may attend the function. This information should be distributed via members’ networks.


Doug Desjardines requested that thanks be extended to Maggie Kyle, Marcia Donovan, Anne Stonham and Sue Pinckham for their efforts in organising the ceremony.


Maggie added that the Department of Corrective Services had also been most helpful.


7.2       Joint Meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committees

Maggie advised that this matter had not progressed and would be attended to in the following month.


7.3       Passing of Marilyn McGee

The Committee was advised of the passing of former Parramatta and Holroyd Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Holroyd Community Centre member, Ms Marilyn McGee in January this year.


Lyn Leerson advised that a large funeral had been held in Holroyd and added that the Committee’s condolences had been passed on.



The Committee then observed one minute’s silence in honour of the passing of Ms McGee.


7.4       Cross Cultural Training

Maggie advised that no further advice was available in relation to this issue.


Maggie added that a new Manager Human Resources had recently commenced employment with Council and it was hoped that the issue would be progressed shortly.


7.5       President of the Local Government and Shires Association

Maggie advised that a letter would be forwarded in the near future to Councillor Keith Rhodes congratulating him on his appointment as the President of the Local Government and Shires Association.


7.6       Burramatta Walk Leaflet

Maggie advised that the date for the official launch of the Burramatta Walking Tour leaflet was not known as present but would be pursued with Michelle Desailly.


7.7       Site Visit – 140 Macquarie Street, Parramatta

Maggie noted that the Committee had previously been invited by Jillian Comber to undertake a site visit of 140 Macquarie Street, Parramatta. The visit had subsequently not occurred due to a number of reasons including bad weather.


Ms Comber had now made contact with Council and requested the opportunity to update the Committee on a number of the archaeological digs being carried out in the area.




That Ms Comber be invited to attend the next meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.





8.1       Foundation Acknowledgement

Phil Russo noted that at the recent Australia Day Celebrations held at Old Government House, the Lord Mayor had carried out the Acknowledgement to the Traditional Land Owners but had then carried out a Foundation Acknowledgement. He noted that the Foundation Acknowledgement also now occurred at Council Meetings.


Mr Russo sought advice on how the Committee felt about the Foundation Acknowledgement, especially as the Committee had not been consulted. He added that he considered the Foundation Acknowledgement an insult to Aboriginals and went against the grain of the Acknowledgement to the Traditional Land Owners.


RECOMMENDATION (Desjardines/Russo)


That the Committee expresses disappointment that the decision to introduce a Foundation Acknowledgement was taken without reference to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Committee and requests that the Foundation Acknowledgement no longer occur.


8.2       Respects to Victims of the Christchurch Earthquake

Mr Desjardines requested that the Committee pay its respects to the victims who had lost their lives today in the Christchurch earthquake.



The Committee then observed one minute’s silence.


8.3       Aboriginal Heritage Operation Branch – Possible Boundary Changes

John Robertson noted that correspondence pertaining to this issue had been tabled at the previous meeting and he had undertaken to investigate this issue and report to a future meeting.


Mr Robertson now advised that he had been in contact with staff from the Aboriginal Heritage Operations Branch who had advised that staff were not affected and believed that the actual boundary changes would not occur.


The staff further added that they needed no further assistance from the Committee in relation to this issue.


8.4       Lake Parramatta

Further to Item 5 as discussed at the previous meeting, Mr Robertson advised that a meeting had now been held with the Lord Mayor in relation to various issues pertaining to Lake Parramatta.


The meeting had been very positive with the Lord Mayor supportive of all issues raised and recommendations to be proposed at tonight’s meeting.


The Lord Mayor had also assured Mr Robertson that no major developments were proposed at Lake Parramatta.


The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Gale, advised that he was unaware of the meeting until after it had been held.


RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee endorse, in principle, the proposed development at Lake Parramatta provided that:-

1.         The development is no higher than the existing structures;

2.         The development occupies no more of the reserve than the existing fenced area (ie shadow);

3.         That the development includes a dedicated museum/keeping place which could display artefacts, stories, samples of fauna and flora etc as appropriate of the Barramattagal and Dharug.

4.         That the development incorporates an area/facility which may be used as an educational resource/training/meeting place.



RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee strongly supports that Council reconsider the position and employment of an identified Aboriginal Ranger/Guide to be engaged full time on duties at and associated with Lake Parramatta, as a matter of urgency.



RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That Council apply to the Heritage Council of NSW to have Lake Parramatta Reserve listed on the State Heritage Register as previously requested.



RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That an appropriate plaque be placed at Lake Parramatta Reserve recognising the role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Committee.



RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That a tree planting ceremony at Lake Parramatta Reserve be incorporated as part of the “Sorry Day” activities.



8.5       Works at Lake Parramatta Reserve

Maggie advised that Sally Williams (Council’s Natural Resource Officer) had previously requested approval from the Committee for certain works to be carried around the perimeter of Lake Parramatta Reserve though no subsequent approval or comment could be located on the issue. It was felt that perhaps the request was directed to the Executive rather than the Committee.


In any event, monies had now been received for the subject works, details of which would be provided at the Committee’s next meeting, with a view to gaining the Committee’s approval.



8.6       Lake Parramatta Reserve – Stone Goanna and Meeting Circle Management

Maggie advised that the Committee had been informed at its September Meeting in relation to damage received by the Stone Goanna and the Meeting Circle at Lake Parramatta.


Sally Williams had indicated that the Stone Goanna would be repaired, but sought advice in relation to the on going management of the Meeting Circle bearing in mind the continual vandalism being experienced at this site.


John Robertson commented that he was unaware of the significance of the Stones and added that he could not recall the Committee being involved in their ownership or design.



RECOMMENDATION         (McDonald/Desjardines)


The Committee raises no objection to the removal of the Meeting Circle Stones but is pleased to hear that the Stone Goanna will be repaired.



8.7       Guest Speaker – Mr Paul Kennedy

Council’s Project Officer, Mr Paul Kennedy, who is responsible for the Heritage Advisory Committee, had sought this Committee’s approval to attend its next meeting to discuss the review of Parramatta’s Heritage Listings and to discuss the Committee’s views regarding the listing of Lake Parramatta on the State Heritage List.


RECOMMENDATION         (McDonald/Desjardines)


That Mr Paul Kennedy be invited to attend the March meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


8.8       Kallico Catering

Mr Desjardines had recently sampled the catering provided by the subject firm and noted that it had been excellent. Mr Desjardines further noted that the owners were Aboriginal and, as part of the business, provided training for Aboriginal women.


Mr Desjardines suggested that the Committee consider the use of Kallico Catering in future relevant functions such as NAIDOC Week.



8.9       Aboriginal Heritage Information held by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW)

Maggie referred to an email previously sent to all members from Council’s Service Manager Open Space and Natural Resources, Mr Neville Davis. The email sought endorsement of Council’s submission to 3 local Aboriginal Lands Councils to enable this Council to have access to Aboriginal Heritage Information held by the DECCW relating to the Parramatta Local Government Area.


RECOMMENDATION         (McDonald/Robertson)


The Committee raises no objection to Council seeking access to the Aboriginal Heritage Information held by the DECCW relating to the Parramatta Local Government Area.


8.10    Meeting Schedule

Maggie noted that the date of the 26 April 2011 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Meeting was actually a public holiday.




That Maggie Kyle provide a replacement meeting date to all members.



Mr Phil Bradley retired from the meeting at 8.14pm during consideration of this matter.


8.11    The Apology and Beyond

Lyn Leerson tabled information regarding a meeting organised by the Mt Druitt and District Reconciliation Group on 13 February 2011. A copy of the information is appended to these minutes as Attachment 1.


Lyn thanked Doug Desjardines, John Robertson and Linda McDonald for their support on this issue.


8.12    Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)

Doug Desjardines tabled information on behalf of Mr Bradley regarding the role and functions of ANTaR. ANTaR’s goal is to undertake informed, specialised campaigning and to mobilise support that achieves justice and self determination for Aboriginal people in New South Wales.


The brochure also invited membership to ANTaR.


RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/Desjardines)


That Council become a member of ANTaR and purchase 3 years subscription with such subscription being provided for display at the Council’s Central Library.


8.13    Christmas Card

Maggie Kyle tabled a Christmas card from Councillor Bide and his family to the members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


8.14    Reorganisation of Parramatta City Library

Maggie advised that the Parramatta Central Library had recently been reorganised to create more space. All resources, including Aboriginal resources, had been culled in line with criteria that referred to documents for which multiple copies were possessed, were out of date or were in poor condition.


The NSW Lands Council had been contacted to see if they wished to utilise the excess Aboriginal Resources for the “Books Behind Bars” program and had sent 2 persons to view the resources.


One of the Lands Council representatives had expressed concern in relation to the amount of Aboriginal material being discarded and they had been informed that the same criteria applied to all material held by the Library.


The Library has now been advised that it would be beneficial to speak to this Committee prior to undertaking any reduction in Aboriginal Resources in the future.


Mr Desjardines noted that the Lands Council could also have spoken to this Committee if it had concerns.


8.15    NAIDOC Week

Lyn Leerson asked when the issue of NAIDOC Week would once again be placed on the Committee’s agenda.


Maggie advised that the issue had been discussed with the Major Events Manager who had indicated it would be late March before planning for this event occurred.


Maggie added that a separate Committee meeting would be organised to discuss this issue.


8.16    Apology for March Meeting

Mr Robertson submitted his apologies for the 22 March 2011 meeting.


The meeting terminated at 8.27pm.