Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander overview

Randwick City Council acknowledges and pays our respects to the Gadigal and Bidjigal clans who traditionally occupied the Sydney coast. Randwick City Council is committed to working:

  • in partnership to coordinate delivery of programs and services that meet the identified needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • to help create and nurture equitable access and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in all spheres of life; and
  • together with all members of the community, support reconciliation and encourage acceptance and respect for a diverse range of cultures.

Council's Reconciliation Statement

Randwick City Council acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the First Australians of this land. We acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this region.

Randwick City Council is committed to:

  • National Reconciliation and building meaningful relationships with the local Aboriginal community, ensuring the process is based on respectand trust.
  • Recognising, protecting and honouring sites in the area which are of special cultural and spiritual significance to the local Aboriginal community;
  • Providing assistance when marking significant Aboriginal cultural ceremonies and historical dates.
  • Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags above the Randwick City Council Town Hall.
    Randwick City Council supports the significance of Reconciliation and is committed to working together will all members of the community towards the achievement of a reconciled nation.

NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s who sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Randwick City Council is actively involved with the local community in planning and delivering NAIDOC Week activities.

NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July each year. We encourage all Australians to participate in the celebrations and activities that take place across the nation during NAIDOC Week.

For more NAIDOC Week information visit www.naidoc.org.au

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. NRW is celebrated annually on 27 May to 3 June.Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
National Reconciliation Week commemorates:

  • 27 May marks the anniversary of the National 1967 Referendum when more than 90% of Australians voted 'yes' to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census.
  • 3 June marks the anniversary of the High Court's Mabo decision of 1992 that recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' unique connection with the land, and abolished  the myth of terranullius.

Koojay Corroboree

Randwick City Council hosts the annual Koojay Corroboree on the sands of Coogee Beach . This free event celebrates National Reconciliation Week and features a traditional Corroboree with Aboriginal songs and dancing as well as cultural displays, workshops and a marketplace. The event is aimed at increasing the understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage and to encourage Australians to  Learn Share Grow.

For more information about National Reconciliation Week visit https://www.reconciliation.org.au/

Other Significant Dates

There are a number of significant dates throughout Australian History that have shaped Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Some of these are:

1965 - Freedom Ride was significant for the civil rights of Aboriginal peoples. Students from the University of Sydney formed a group; 'Student Action for Aborigines', led by Charles Perkins and Jim Spigelman. They organised a bus tour of coastal and western New South Wales towns and the purpose was three fold. The students planned to draw attention to the poor state of Aboriginal housing, health and education. Their goal was to point out the social discrimination barriers which existed and to encourage and support Aboriginal people themselves to resist discrimination.

Australia Day/Survival Day (Yabun Festival I 26 January) Australia Day is a celebration for most, however, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the day represents invasion, dispassion and loss of culture. Yabun Festival is recognised as Australia's premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander festival showcasing the best of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts   and culture. Visit www.yabun.org.au

National Apology Anniversary (13 February)  On this day in 2008 the Hon . Kevin Rudd MP Prime Minister of Australia formally apologised to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations  on behalf of the Australian Government. Visit  www.australia.gov.au

National Close the Gap Day (17 March) ls a day for all Australians to join together to raise awareness and recognise the inequality of education, health and incarceration issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face. Visit www.oxfam.org.au

Harmony Day (21 March) - Living in Harmony is an Australian Government imitative designed to promote community harmony, build community relationships and address racism and discrimination. Visit www.harmony.gov.au

National Sorry Day (26 May) - Commemorated to publicly acknowledge the pain and suffering by many Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander peoples of the 'Stolen Generations' and the effects of their removal from family and community. Visit www.nsdc.org.au

More information

For further information on these services, please contact Council's Community Project Officer Sharron.smith@randwick.nsw.gov.au

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