Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Council acknowledges the Gweagal, Bidjigal and Gadigal Clans which are the traditional custodians of the land in which we meet and work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community

Of the current Bayside community, 1,555 people identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander descent, this is an increase of 370 persons since 2011. The population increase equates to 1% of the local population which is lower than the Sydney average of 1.5%

What does Council do?

Council is committed to the principles of Reconciliation in the spirit of respect and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and their experiences.

We employ a Community Development Officer - Aboriginal Programs on a part-time basis to advise on issues affecting people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander backgrounds, establish networks with the Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander communities and government agencies, plan and advocate for resources to support the community and to help facilitate local actions supporting Bayside's reconciliation process.

Contact our Community Development Officer - Aboriginal Programs on 9366 3683.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Council has begin community engagement and internal discussions to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The plan will focus on relationship building, respecting and preserving Aboriginal culture and heritage, and creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The Plan will reflect Council’s commitment to reconciliation and identify opportunities for innovative and creative approaches to reconciliation both locally and regionally.

The first RAP is now being worked on. We are starting with a REFLECT RAP which is the first level advised by Reconciliation Australia. It is about reflecting on our organisation and building strong foundations for future work.


NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration) celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that indigenous people make to our country and society.

Council will hold a 2021 NAIDOC celebration, details to be advised.


Bayside is a proud partner of the Eastern Regional Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum (ERLGATSIF) which highlights our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through Reconciliation and the principles of:

  1. Connections & Engagement

  2. Respect & Understanding

  3. Advocacy and;

  4. Accountability

Through our involvement in ERLGATSIF Council seeks to develop co-operative projects and strategies which will:

  • Continue to raise awareness of Reconciliation across Local Government Councils that are members of the Forum
  • Successfully implement the annual Pauline McLeod Awards for National Reconciliation Week which recognise those “silent achievers” who have worked so diligently in promoting Reconciliation through selfless acts
  • Successfully implement annual Reconciliation Week Art Competition
  • Provide employment for and build the capacity of an Aboriginal Forum Coordinator
  • Build and maintain relationships through information sharing, networking and supporting member Council initiatives


Cultural Days of Significance

The Apology - 13 February.
The anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to Australia's Indigenous People 

Harmony Day - 21 March.  
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

National Close the Gap Day - 22 March. 
Campaign for Indigenous health equality 

Sorry Day - 26 May. 
Commemorating the Stolen Generation. National Sorry Day provides the opportunity for all Australians to be involved in activities to acknowledge the impact of the policies of forcible removal on Australia's Indigenous populations and, then, to celebrate the beginning of a new understanding. 

Reconciliation Week - 27 May to 3 June. 
Marking two significant events: the 1967 Referendum (27 May 1967); and the Mabo decision (3 June 1992). The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.

Mabo Day - 3 June. 
In an historic judgement delivered on June 3, 1992 the High Court, accepted the land claims from Eddie Mabo and the other claimants overturning the notion that Australia was Terra Nullius (a land belonging to no-one) at the time of colonisation.

Coming of the Light – 1 July.
The Coming of the Light festival marks the day the London Missionary Society first arrived in Torres Strait introducing Christianity to the region. This is a significant day for Torres Strait Islanders, who are predominantly of Christian faith.

National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day - 4 August. 
Children's Day, and the week leading up to it, is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child. 

NAIDOC Week - July

On Australia Day 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney, followed by a gathering which was attended by over 1000 people. One of the first major civil rights gatherings in Australia, it was known as the Day of Mourning.

Growing support for Aboriginal Rights saw the Day of Mourning become a regular event. From 1940 to 1955, the Day of Mourning was held on the Sunday before Australia Day and was known as Aborigines Day. In 1955, Aborigines Day was moved to the first Sunday in July after it was decided that the day should become not just a protest but a celebration of Aboriginal culture.

In 1974, it was decided that the celebration of culture and awareness should extend over a week from the first Sunday in July (National Aborigines Day) to the second Sunday of July (a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage). With a growing awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, the event was later expanded to recognise Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC continues to be held each year from the first Sunday in July to the second Sunday to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) - Redfern

A: First floor, 619 Elizabeth St, Redfern.

P: 8303 6600

ALS is an Aboriginal community organisation giving information and referral, and legal advice and court representation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children across NSW and ACT.


Blak Markets

P: 9345 4404  

E: stalls.firsthand@gmail.com

Aboriginal Art and Culture Festival held quarterly on Bare Island, La Perouse but also in different locations and events around the city.

The Blak Markets allow you to sample and buy the best Aboriginal culture without leaving Sydney. At this fantastic beachside market, browse stalls for Aboriginal paintings and designs, tuck into bush-tucker infused meals and see authentic Aboriginal cultural dance and music performances. Bring your swimming costume too!



Course info: 1300 360 601

A: 333 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale

NSW 2008 Australia

P: 9217 4878

E: sydney.info@tafe.nsw.edu.au

Eora offers catch-up education, cultural courses and a range of TAFE programs.



MD - Ken Zulumovski

E: ken@guir.com.au

M: 0433 346 645

A men’s group that provide programs based in Redfern that teaches life skills training, and motivation, Indigenous healing.


Gunawirra House

P: 9690 0990

A: 19a Quirk Street (Cnr Quirk & Gordon St) Rozelle, NSW 2039

E: hansdevriese@gunawirra.org.au

Provides support to young Aboriginal mothers, weekly group, transport provided.


La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council

P: 02 9311 4282

A: 1 Elaroo Avenue, La Perouse New South Wales 2036

Committed to servicing Aboriginal people and the broader community.



Free call 1800 624 332

A: 4/2 Central Place, Rope’s Crossing. (PO Box 185 St Mary’s NSW 2760)

E: link-up@nsw.link-up.au

Provides Aboriginal people with support to locate kin, especially due to Stolen Generations removals in the past.

The organisation requests members and clients update their contact details with the office, to assist the organisation reunite them with their families.


Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

A: 72 Renwick St, Redfern NSW 2016

P: (02) 8394 9666


National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE)

A: 180 George St, Redfern NSW 2016

P: 1300 866 761

NCIE is a not-for-profit social enterprise building solid foundations and solid futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NCIE provides a low cost gym, swim centre open to all, learn to swim lessons, and support services for Aboriginal youth.


Redfern Community Centre

A: 29–53 Hugo Street, Redfern NSW 2016

P: 9288 5713

E: redferncc@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au


Redfern Jarjum College (Aboriginal Primary School)

Education in the Jesuit Tradition

A: 117 Redfern St, Redfern NSW 2016 

P: 9936 5450

E: principal@rjc.nsw.edu.au

Principal Fran fmccarthy@rjc.nsw.edu.au


Tribal Warrior

T: 9699 3491

F: 9699 3441

E: reception@tribalwarrior.org

A: 180 George Street, Redfern NSW 2016

Support for Aboriginal Youth and Aboriginal Cultural Tours around Sydney Harbour


Tony Mundine Hostel

A: 203 Catherine St, Leichhardt NSW 2040

P: 9550 0178

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People who are need short term accommodation while visiting Sydney for education, employment, medical, legal or personal reasons.



P: 02 8396 5300

Provides Intensive Family Based support services to Aboriginal families linked to FACS, to minimise the risk of children going into care.


Yana Mura (“New Directions”)

P: 9516 3232

Provides support for pregnant Aboriginal women or Aboriginal mothers with children under 2 years from Camperdown Child & Family Health centre.


Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre

A: Addison Road Community Centre Building 13, 142 Addison Road Marrickville NSW 2204

T: 1800 686 587 (NSW only)

T: 9569 3847

F: 9569 4210

E: wirringa_baiya@clc.net.au

Wirringa Baiya is a state-wide community legal centre for Aboriginal women, children and youth. Wirringa Baiya focuses on issues relating to violence. The free and confidential service is available to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and young people.


Eastern Sydney Medicare Local

A: Level 2, 6-8 Crewe Place, Rosebery NSW 2018

P: 9663 5958

E: admin@esml.org.au


Introduction - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders