Item 9.2 - Attachment 1

Minutes Special Meeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee








John Robertson in the Chair, Bruce Astill, Donna-Lee Astill, Doug Dejardines, Marcia Donovan, Councillor Mark Lack,  Phil Russo, Anne Stonham and Douglas Wilson.





Kevin Brennan (Acting Manager Major Events), Grant Davies (Minute Clerk), Maggie Kyle (Community Capacity Building Officer) and Kerry Nettle (Service Manager Community Capacity Building Team).





An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Greg Stonham.




A copy of information pertaining to the NAIDOC 2011 Program Proposal had previously been circulated to members. A copy of the information is appended as Attachment 1.


The proposal included:-

1.         The expansion of the Flag Raising and the Library workshop program;

2.         The replacement of Burramatta Family Fun Day with a Fellowships Program for young achievers in schools and other educational settings;

3.         An annual formal reception hosted by the Lord Mayor for individuals and organisations who contribute to the promotion and appreciation of Indigenous culture with the LGA;

4.         Annually recorded video interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.


Maggie Kyle advised that the matter was listed for discussion at this meeting, following which a report would be prepared for consideration at the Council Meeting to be held on 27 April 2011.


Mr Kevin Brennan, Acting Manager Major Events introduced himself, provided his background and noted that his team was responsible for logistics and funding of major events.


Mr Brennan advised the strategic intent behind Council’s Major Events including increasing visitation to Parramatta, driving economic activity, changing the image of Parramatta and advertising Parramatta’s excellent assets such as Eat Street, The River and Riverside Theatres.


Mr Brennan added that the Burramatta Family Fun Day was not delivering on the strategic intent of Major Events. He added that this was not to say the event was not a good event, just that it was not meeting the Council’s strategic goals for Major Events.


Accordingly, an alternative NAIDOC 2011 proposal had been prepared (as distributed earlier) for discussion by the Committee. The NAIDOC budget would remain the same as in previous years.


Kerry Nettle then provided a framework on each of the 4 proposals and sought comment from the Committee on the suggestions. Ms Nettle added that the proposals had been devised following discussion with other NAIDOC Committees and other councils.




Members of the Committee advised/commented as follows:-

·    Who had prepared the Program Proposal? (Response from Staff: A joint effort between Community Capacity and Major Events).

·    The Advisory Committee and the NAIDOC Committee had never been notified that the event was required to meet stipulated strategic intents;

·    Feedback on the past 4 NAIDOC celebrations had been provided to Council. (Response from Staff: Whilst feedback had been provided, a formal review of the celebrations as a Major Event had never been undertaken. All Major Events were subject to review.)

·    The content of Item 3 of the distributed documented (which indicated the Burramatta Fun Day had ‘achieved low attendance and numbers and has failed to deliver on stipulated strategic social, community and economic outcomes for the city’) was strongly disputed.


Members considered the day had been well attended, successful, had proven an excellent opportunity for networking and provided an opportunity for all members of the community to learn about Aboriginal culture.

·    Plenty of fellowships were already available in the Aboriginal Community but were not utilised due to the lack of information on their existence. Council would be better served by employing an Aboriginal Project Officer who could help the community access already available funding and scholarships.

·    Parramatta has a strong and historic association with Aboriginals including the first public apology to Aboriginals and even Council’s logo. An action to remove the Burramatta Fun Day would be a retrograde step and would have a detrimental effect on the wider Aboriginal community and on Council’s reputation in relation to reconciliation.

·    It was raised that a change of classification from Major Event would then require the event not to meet the stipulated strategic intent.

·    A comparison of NAIDOC with Australia Day and Parramasalla was inappropriate on funding grounds (with the latter noted as being State assisted).

·    The limited time frame adopted between notifying the Committee and reporting to Council could not be termed ‘consultation’.

·    The Committee as its first preference wishes to retain the Burramatta Family Fun Day.


Ms Kyle noted the Committee’s strong desire to retain the Burramatta Fun Day and asked if the Committee wanted to propose that the day could/should be improved rather than dropped.


The Committee emphasised its preference for the Day to be retained as is, but suggested that better advertising and a focus on workshops may be beneficial.


The Committee suggested that better advertising of the day and a focus on workshops may be beneficial.


Kerry Nettle advised the Committee that, given their response, she was not sure of the process needed regarding submitting the Council report for the April meeting and would seek advice from Senior Management.


Maggie Kyle advised the Committee she would contact them as soon as possible to let them know the next steps in the process and to organise another meeting if necessary or if members requested one.



RECOMMENDATION         (Robertson/A Stonham)


That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee strongly requests that the Burramatta Family Fun Day be retained for the following reasons:-

1.         The cultural and historical importance of the Day to the Aboriginal Community and the reconciliation process;

2.         The reasons for not proceeding with the Day are based on falsehoods as contained in Item 3 of Attachment 1 especially in relation to low attendance numbers;

3.         The organisers of the Day had never been notified of the stipulated criteria for a Major Event;

4.         Monies were already available in the Aboriginal Community for fellowships and scholarships but were not being utilised due to lack of communication on their existence;

5.         Last year’s NAIDOC celebrations were the most successful to date;

6.         NAIDOC should be judged on Community Capacity criteria rather than criteria established for the holding of a Major Event;

7.         Cancellation of this Day would have a negative impact on Council’s strong reconciliation reputation; and

8.         The consultation timeframe for the possible cancellation of the Burramatta Family Fund Day had been extremely minimal.




 The meeting terminated at 7.43pm.