Meeting Name

First Nations Advisory Committee

Quorum:  Nil


14 April 2023, Friday

Time: 5:00PM


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



Jayne Christian (in person)


Committee members:

ˉ          Edwina Crawford (remote)

ˉ          John Robertson (remote)

ˉ          Roslyn Fogg (in person)


Council Staff

-       Rodrigo Gutierrez, Community Capacity Building Manager, Community Services


Guest Speakers

-       Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Director Parramatta Artist Studios & Cultural Services

-       Ashlee Gardner, Project Officer

-       Sophia Chrysanthos, Innovation Team

-       Raelene Patiag, Student



-       Clr Phil Bradley

Apologies / Leave of Absence


-       Cleonie Quayle

-       Raelene Billedo

-       Julie Clarke Jones

-       Luke Eldridge

-       Issac Roberts

-       Bruce Gale

-       Marlene Corbett

-       Andrew Fernando

-       Fetuuloa Lolesio

-       Angela Irsania, Senior Events Officer

-       David Moutou,  Group Manager Social & Community Services

-       Karen Maber, Keeping Place Officer, Community Services


Steven Ross, Community Capacity Building Officer


Vandana Saini

HPRM Reference


Recording Announcement

Secretariat read out the following announcement prior to the meeting.

“All those present should be aware that this Meeting is being recorded. All recordings will be confidential and comply with NSW workplace surveillance legislation. Your continued presence at this meeting will be taken as your consent. The recordings will be used by governance for the purpose of taking any minutes and they will not be used or disclosed in any other way, except as required by law.”






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 Chairperson declared the meeting open at 5:00pm. The Committee members and staff present at the meeting introduced themselves. 


The Committee received and noted apologies from the following Committee members:

-       Cleonie Quayle

-       Raelene Billedo

-       Julie Clarke Jones

-       Luke Eldridge

-       Issac Roberts

-       Bruce Gale

-       Marlene Corbett

-       Andrew Fernando

-       Fetuuloa Lolesio


The Chairperson noted the absence of a quorum and permitted to proceed with informal discussion that does not involve decision-making.



Disclosure of Interests


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


Minutes of Previous Meeting - 14 February 2023


In absence of a quorum consideration of the minutes were deferred to the next meeting.


Parramatta Artists’ Studios update (Granville Studios and North Parramatta)


Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Director Parramatta Artist Studios & Cultural Services provided an update of the Parramatta Artist Studios


The key highlights were:


·         Parramatta Artists’ Studios is re-establishing its core studio facility at Granville, in Council-owned premises.

·         These are medium-term premises of approx. 5 years

·         Current completion is end of 2023. Launching in early 2024.


Note: A confidential item was also presented at the meeting.



The Chairperson thanked Sophia Kouyoumdjian for the presentation.



Engagement with students from UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation


Ashlee Gardner presented UTS BCII Industry Innovation Project.


Background: City of Parramatta Council has partnered with University of Technology Sydney(UTS) and invited 5 students who are currently pursuing combined degree - Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. One of the unit in the degree is called “Industry Innovative Project”.  A 12 week placement has been offered to the students to complete a project that focusses on:


“How can the City of Parramatta lead in integrating First Nations history storytelling and self-determination into the fabric of the city?”


The students have been in CoP for 6 weeks already and has been doing research of the community engagement results, consultation with other organisations and also seeking feedback from the First Nations Advisory Committee.


The students tabled three questions to the Committee.


Question 1:

How do you think Council can enhance the well being of and connection to Country for First Nations community members? Are there good examples from other Council areas.


The Committee suggested other Council’s such as Hornsby, Blue Mountains , Blacktown & YASS Council who connects with First Nations Communities by using art that tells a story, connection to river, Federation walk, court house stories & positive stories)


Question 2: What is the level of understanding you expect from the public, and from Council, around First Nations histories, storytelling and self-determination.


The Committee expects the people to know the truth about First Nations. There is lack of engagement of traditional owners with the people. The Committee encourages Council to work in partnership with Elders to bridge the gap to explore their stories.


Question 3: What are some of the strengths and weakness with Council currents engagement with First Nation people. How can Council improve their approach.


The Committee appreciated that it was highly consulted on PHIVE.  They believe that the Council has an opportunity to share its power and decision making with the Elders directly and work in partnership with them to provide modern translation of the history.


First Nations strategy is an opportunity for being consultative and collaborative and inclusive.


The Chairperson thanked Ashlee Gardner and wished the students all the best.




Warami including Burramatta NAIDOC


The presentation “Warami including Burramatta NAIDOC” from Angela Irsania, Senior Events Officer was withdrawn from the Agenda due to unforeseen circumstances.




First Nations Strategy update


Rodrigo Gutierrez, Community Capacity Building Manager, Community Services provided an update on the First Nations Strategy (FNS).


The FNS is progressing within the timeline and is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2023.


The next steps are:

·         Executive Team Meeting presentation (18 April)

·         Councillor Workshop (26 April)

·         Closing the feedback loop with external stakeholders (May)

·         Draft First Nations Strategy document (completed by June)

·         Public Exhibition (July/Aug)

·         Final Approval from Council (Aug/Sep)

·         First Nations Advisory Committee – out of session meeting to provide feedback on public exhibition results

·         Councillor Workshop – results of Public Exhibition and proposed Council response (23 Aug)

·         Draft final documents

·         Council Report – 11 Sep

·         Launch First Nations Strategy – Sep/Oct


The Committee thanked Rodrigo Gutierrez for the presentation.




The Keeping Place


The Committee noted the tabled report “The Keeping Place” from Karen Maber.




General Business

-       Steven Ross shared pictures of the Reko Rennie public Art in Parramatta Square “Where Eels Lie Down”. He informed the Committee that the date of launch has been pushed back to end of June.

-       First Nations Advisory Committee members offered their condolences to Bruce Astill’s family and friends as a gesture of respect. Bruce Astill was a long time member of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. The funeral details were shared with the Committee members.

-       Uncle John invited committee members to attend the Gallipoli Art Exhibition 6-8 Atherden Street, The Rocks from 20 April to 14 May, 2023. Uncle John is actively involved in the art exhibition since many years.

-       Clr Bradley congratulated Lord Mayor Donna Davis on being elected the new Member of Parliament for Parramatta.

-       Rodrigo informed the Committee about The ZEST Awards. The Awards are led by the West Sydney Community Forum, has celebrated over 1,050 outstanding projects and individuals from the community over the past ten years. This award recognises our outstanding contributions to Western Sydney for a project that ‘significantly increases sense of belonging, attachment to the community and/or willingness to participate in their community on a local or regional level’.  

-       The Committee members were invited to nominate people in the First Nations category of the Zest Awards 2023.


The Chairperson thanked staff and Committee members for their updates.


The Chairperson closed the meeting at 6:48pm.


Next Meeting Date – 13 June 2023