Meeting Name

First Nations Advisory Committee



14 February 2023

Time: 6:00PM


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




-         Jayne Christian (in person)


Committee members:

-         Edwina Crawford (remote)

-         Issac Roberts (remote)

-         John Robertson (in person)

-         Julie Clarke Jones (remote)

-         Raelene Billedo (remote)

-         Ross Fogg (in person)


Council Staff: (In person)

-         David Moutou, Group Manager, Community Services

-         Rodrigo Gutierrez, Community Capacity Building Manager, Community Services

-         Karen Maber, Keeping Place Officer, Community Services

-         Sophia Kouyoumdjian – Director Parramatta Artist Studios

-         Kim Marsh, Senior Project Officer Place Services (remote)

-         Suzanne Buljan, Senior Officer – Cultural Projects & Public Art (remote)


Guest Speakers

-         Lord Mayor Councillor Donna Davis

-         Reko Rennie (Artist)

-         David Hagger (Reko Rennie)

-         Mathew Cornwell, Managing Director, Ngurra Advisory



-         Councillor Phil Bradley – Ex-Officio


Apologies / Leave of Absence


-         Andrew Fernando

-         Fetuuloa Lolesio


Leave of Absence:

-         Cleonie Quayle

-         Bruce Gale (Deputy Chairperson)

-         Luke Eldridge (2 months)

-         Marlene Corbett




Steven Ross, Community Capacity Building Officer



Vandana Saini


HPRM Reference







Acknowledgement of Country

The City of Parramatta Council acknowledges the Burramattagal Clan of The Dharug, the traditional owners of land of Parramatta and pays its respects to the elders past, present and emerging.


Welcome & Apologies

The Committee members and staff introduced themselves.


Disclosure of Interests

There were no declaration of interest declared at the meeting.

Note: Jayne Christian informed that she engages with Weaving Garden and has conducted Welcome to Country.


Note: The Order of Agenda was confirmed as below.


Uluru Statement: Parramatta Program


The Committee shared their views regarding the Uluru Statement from the Heart with Lord Mayor Donna Davis.


The Australian Government has committed to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. A referendum will be held in this term of Parliament to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice in the Australian Constitution.


The Committee shared a common view that there is currently not enough detail for them to be able to comfortably decide which way they will vote or if they will vote at all. Of particular concern was the lack of detail of how the implementation of Voice to Parliament will work from a local point of view and how traditional owners in particular will be able to meaningfully participate at a grass root level.


The Lord Mayor assured that there will be programs run within Parramatta to educate and increase conversations with First Nations and multicultural community regarding the referendum that Federal Government is proposing.


Some of the activities inclusive of the Parramatta Program are:

-         Public Panel discussion

-         School essay competition

-         Kitchen table conversations

-         Pop-up consultations

-         Creative Project

-         Respite Event


The Uluru Statement: Parramatta Program will begin in March 2023.


Melrose Parking Naming


The Committee received and noted the tabled Briefing Note regarding Dharug language clarification for indigenous road naming in Melrose Park and Northmead.

The staff seek approval to the recommendation:

“That the First Nations Advisory Committee provide advice on the Dharug language and provide guidance for seeking approval from Dharug for the use of “Guwiyang Street” in Melrose Park; “Buya Lane” and “Gunama Lane” in Northmead.


The Committee was provided with the meaning of each name: 

1.        Buya: Back (not recommended)

2.       Guwiyang: Fire

3.       Gunama: Cook


The committee suggested to consult language experts for advice.



1.        Steven Ross & Kim Marsh to circulate scope and brief to language experts.


Reko Rennie public Art in Parramatta Square


The Committee received and noted the tabled report regarding the Parramatta Square Public Art Commission: Where Eels Lie Down, by Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi) 2023


Suzanne Buljan provided a brief overview of the project:

The key highlights were:

-         Project Background: This project provides an opportunity to create a public artwork that speaks to the significant history of Aboriginal culture and identity of the Parramatta region in a contemporary context.

-         Current Status:

        Fabrication Complete

        Transport to Sydney February 2023

        Install commences 27 February 2023

        Installation Complete 21 April 2023 (includes contingency)

        Launch to take place after 21 April 2023


Suzzane Buljan introduced Reko Rennie (Artist) who is nationally and internationally renowned First Nations artist. Reko provided an insight of his art work and what inspires him to present Aboriginal art into contemporary art.


Council Staff seek advice from the Committee as to how should the art work be celebrated and what would be culturally appropriate.


The Committee suggested to begin the launch with smoking ceremony from the Yarning Circle through Reko’s work.


The Committee thanked Reko Rennie for his contribution and collaboration with City of Parramatta.



2.       The Committee will receive invitations to the opening ceremony of the Public Art.


First Nations Strategy


Mathew Cornwell gave a presentation on First Nations Strategy.


The purpose of the presentation is to provide an update on how the results of the first stage of community consultation process for the First Nations strategy and what we heard.


Stages of the process:

-         Stage 1: Community consultation & Co- Design Process

-         Stage 2: Internal workshops for Council staff to provide Feedback on Stage 1

-         Stage 3: Present strategy & seek feedback (Current)

-         Stage 4: Public Exhibition of Draft First Nations Engagement Strategy


Snapshot of Engagement:

-         274 Day Consultation period

-         1309 Online Engagement page views

-         58 Surveys completed

-         11 Engagement opportunities/activities

-         Objectives of Community Engagement

-         Number of Engagement sessions



-         Pillar 1: Social Justice

-         Pillar 2: Cultural Leadership

-         Pillar 3: Social Cohesion and Accountability,

-         Pillar 4: Celebration


Next steps:

-         Workshops will be conducted internally to identify new actions to be proposed for inclusion in the Strategy and confirmation of business as usual activities for Council will be incorporated.

-         Drafting a document before it goes to council for public exhibition.



The Committee thanked Mathew Cornwell for the update.


Minutes of Previous Meeting


RESOLVED (Robertson/Fogg)

That the minutes of the First Nations Advisory Committee Meeting held on 15 November 2022 be received and noted as a true record of the meeting.


General Business


A.      David Moutou seeked Committee guidance on the resolution from 13 Feb 2023 Council Meeting.


13.4 SUBJECT: Sydney World Pride 2023

REFERENCE F2022/00105 - D08833462


REPORT OF Group Manager Social and Community Services


[4170]  RESOLVED (Humphries/Prociv)


(a) That Council welcomes to the City of Parramatta all those who

have travelled from around Australia and the world to be part of

Sydney WorldPride 2023.


(b) That Council note the broad range of activities being held in the

Parramatta LGA during Sydney WorldPride, as detailed in

Attachment 1.


(c) That Council fly the Rainbow flag alongside the Australian National

Flag at Council’s flagpole on the Parramatta River foreshore 16

February – 5 March 2023, in celebration of our local LGBTIQA+

community with a priority on the following dates:

a. 16-19 February 2023

b. 24-26 February 2023

c. 2-5 March 2023


(d) That Council acknowledges the Aboriginal Flag will continue to be

flown at Ermington Library and Mays Hill Cemetery throughout

Sydney WorldPride 2023.


(e) Further, that the flying of the Rainbow Flag at the River foreshore

will be subject to consultation with First Nations community

members via Council’s First Nations Advisory Committee

Meeting, at its meeting on the 14th February 2023.

The Committee had an open discussion. The context of having two flagpoles was noted and understood as was the purpose of flying the Rainbow Flag and supported by the Committee. Members spoke to the impact of not being able to fly both the Aboriginal Flag and the Rainbow Flag (or any other flag that may replace it from time to time), losing a chance to highlight the historical significance and association with First Nations People and Parramatta. Members noted how much more powerful it would be to say to LGBTQIA+ communities that the Aboriginal community is with them. Australia is the cradle city and Parramatta (First Nations) is hosting the event and it’s not fair that the Aboriginal flag is bumped, and may even in future, each time an event of such kind happens.


The Committee expects the flag poles situation is resolved in future and the First Nations people do not have to make such compromises.


B.      Steven Ross confirmed that all Committee Members have received an invite to the Pat Anderson AO talk – Uluru Statement from the Heart on 23 Feb 2023.

C.     Committee clarified the Terms of Reference – Leave of Absence.


The Committee agreed that member can take leave of absence for maximum of  12 months and Convenor to check the status after 3 meetings.


D.     Karen Maber’s Report – Keeping Place


-         It's been 4 1/2 months since the Keeping Place opened

-         The first cultural presentation by a Darug elder will take place next week with 35 people in attendance

-         Both the keeping place operational and governance framework is nearing completion and arrangements for the first keeping place reference Group meeting are underway.

-         First Nations personnel will visit the keeping place in turn next month to view the facility and meet with members of the keeping Place Reference Group.

-         A meeting was scheduled with the Registration Manager and Head of First Nations collections at Sydney Powerhouse Museum last month. They were highly supportive and provided their templates of loan agreements between both agencies and community groups

-         Next steps include finalisation of governance and operational frameworks, commencement of keeping place, Reference group working meetings, approval from the Australia Museum of the Keeping place facility and continued consultation with our direct community.


The Committee thanked the staff for the updates.


The Chairperson and Staff thanked the Committee members for their attendance.


Next Meeting Date: 11 April 2023


Meeting Closed:  8:05pm