Meeting Name

First Nations Advisory Committee



15 November 2022

Time: 6:00PM


Level 12 – Boardroom, 126 Church St Parramatta / MS Teams




Jayne Christian


Deputy Chairperson

Bruce Gale


Committee members:

Andrew Fernando

Cleonie Quayle

Edwina Crawford

Fetuuloa Lolesio

Issac Roberts

John Robertson

Julie Clarke Jones

Luke Eldridge

Raelene Billedo

Ross Fogg


Council Staff

-       Rodrigo Gutierrez, Community Capacity Building Manager, Community Services

-       Karen Maber, Keeping Place Officer, Community Services

-       Sophia Kouyoumdjian – Director Parramatta Artist Studios


Guest Speakers

Katie Wearne – Cred Consultancy



Councillor Phil Bradley – Ex-Officio


Apologies / Leave of Absence

Marlene Corbett (Leave of absence)



Steven Ross, Community Capacity Building Officer



Vandana Saini


HPRM Reference








Acknowledgement of Country

Uncle Bruce gave the acknowledgment of Country.


Welcome & Apologies

The Committee members and staff introduced themselves.


Disclosure of Interests

There were no declaration of interest declared at the meeting.


Minutes of Previous Meeting


RESOLVED (Fogg/Gale)

That the minutes of the First Nations Advisory Committee Meeting held on 13 September 2022 be received and noted as a true record of the meeting.


Strategy Refresh Project


Katie Wearne gave the acknowledgment of Country and a presentation on Strategy Refresh Project.


The aim is to assist Parramatta Council to update key strategic documents along with the highest level document “Community Strategic Plan”.


The four key strategic documents  (themes) that are being developed are:

1.      Socially Sustainable Parramatta Framework (Social Plan)

2.     Cultural Plan

3.     Economic Development Plan

4.     Environmental Sustainable Strategy


The purpose of presenting the Strategic Refresh project to the Committee was to seek feedback on:


What are the priority challenges or opportunities to be explored across the four theme?


The Chairperson opened the floor for discussion.


Some of the key points that Committee spoke about and recommended were:

1.      Advantage of Programs for people over the age of 55 that Council run.

2.     Council should offer programs for First Nations people with disability with different age groups and within the LGA.

3.     Need more green space for communities and big families.

4.     To recognise history of First Nation people, Harris Park should be highlighted.

5.     Easy access to parking within the Parramatta LGA as there has been loss of parking due to heavy development.

6.     Easy access to toilets in entertainment spaces for families.

7.     Challenges around homelessness and focus on First Nations people.

8.     Promote “What’s Happening in Parramatta LGA” outside the LGA as First Nation People to engage and what Parramatta offers.

9.     Protecting the environment and ecosystem services across the river foreshore.



1.      To present Parramatta Homelessness Action Plan to the Committee as it is due to be renewed in 2024 and feedback will be valued.


Parramatta Artist Studio Action Plan


Sophia Kouyoumdjian provided an overview on the Parramatta Artist Studio Action Plan.


The 3 key projects that the Council is working on are and Committee’s feedback is welcomed.

1.      The Weaving Garden Project – Virginia Keft, a MurriWarri Woman, artist, performer and researcher, appointed as the Collective Lead.

2.     Relocation of the main artist’s studio facility-  Granville (Temporary 5 Years – Include Dharug Artists) . The Project timeline is for completion in mid May 2023.

3.     First Nations Engagement Strategy -  4 Pillars

a.     Trust & Responsibility

b.     Community

c.     Visible Culture (Programming)

d.     Sustainability


The Committee thanked Sophia Kouyoumdjian for the update.


Keeping Place Update


Karen Maber provided an update on the “Keeping Place”.


The opening of Keeping Place involved:

·       Opening Ceremony by Uncle Chris Tobin and his son Josh was held on 23 September 2022 and was officially declared open.

·       A display cabinet was filled with cultural material.

·       Many Elders and First Nation People attended the event.

·       Karen assisted in curating the RAS focussed Parramatta Agricultural Exhibition by providing a Dharug response.

·       Story of Midyini – Yam Daisy became central focus.

·       A painting has been donated to the Council that will be displayed in the “Keeping Place”.


The future developments are:

·       Discussions are underway with the programming team to have Cultural Tours within Keeping Place by Dharug Educators.

·       The main focus of the Keeping Place Reference Group in the next few month will be developing Operational and Governance Framework.

·       To ensure that best practice in the management of Aboriginal material culture, material culture is achieved selected consultants will be engaged to give broad expertise.

·       A meeting is scheduled with First Nations collection and engagement team in Australia Museum next week to view the archaeological assemblages that are intended for our keeping place and also to discuss the next steps in making this happen.

·       Committee Members are invited to visit Keeping Place.


The Committee thanked Karen Maber for the update.


First Nations Strategy


Steven Ross provided an update on the First Nations Strategy.


·       He informed that a survey is out to the community for consultation.

·       There were come external consultations as well.

·       Pop-up consultation at PHIVE will also be organised

·       On 5th December, Council is holding a broad community consultation where public can Have a Say on the draft framework.

·       The report to the Council will be submitted in March 2023.




1.      The Committee will be presented with the consultation outcome before the report goes to the Council Meeting.


General Business


Committee discussed the following General Items:


1.      John Batman issue and the lane that is his name.


-       Rodrigo informed the Committee that in consultation with the Planning & Design Team it was resolved that the lane is no longer an existing lane due to the development of CIVIC link.  But as the name of the lane issue stands the Committee can discuss in the next meeting.


2.     Lord Mayor requested to attend the February Meeting to discuss the Constitutional Referendum.

-       Committee to discuss the referendum via MS – Teams before having a meeting with the Lord Mayor.



1.      John Batman issue to be added on the next Agenda Item and the Committee to make recommendations to the Council for a change in name of the Lane.

2.     Write a letter to Phil Russo re: Naming of Batman Lane

3.     Steven to forward an invite to the Lord Mayor for the February meeting.

4.     Steven to facilitate an online meeting with the Committee members to discuss the constitutional referendum before the February meeting.


The Chairperson and Staff thanked the Committee members for their attendance and wished them Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.


Next Meeting Date: 14 February 2023




Meeting Closed:  7:45pm