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.

Community Meeting on 24 March 2020 Postponed.

Following the Federal Government's directive that all non-essential gatherings be postponed or cancelled Bayside Council has made the responsible decision not to proceed with the planned Community Meeting for Tuesday 24 March 2020.

The Mayor and Councillors, together with Council staff, are deeply saddened by having to make this decision but they trust that you will understand they must put your safety and the community’s safety first.

Australia has some of the best medical services in the world and the best way we can help them is to make sure we act on their recommendations to protect our community. Council will continue to take advice and direction from the Local Health Authorities and Government Departments in the coming weeks.  

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Trish Blackman on 9366 3683 (works Tuesdays & Thursdays) or Miro Laffan on 9366 3684

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 3674.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Council will begin community engagement and internal discussions to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan in 2018/19.

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.


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 Australians make to our country and society. Council works with the community to develop a week long program of events and proudly flies the Aboriginal national flag during this time.


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.

Online Events for National Reconciliation Week

Welcome to National Reconciliation Week. This year we have brought all the action to you, wherever you are online.
We are all 'in this together' and will be bringing you many familiar faces to speak about their take on reconciliation and what 'in this together' means to them. Share your stories, pictures and messages. Tell us what reconciliation means to you. 
Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Web and Instagram.

You can find further details, registration information and links for all of the below events on the Reconciliation Australia website - https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/calendar/list/

Launch of All Together Now - a simultaneous learning experience.
Join Reconciliation NSW and Wingaru Education online to participate in a simultaneous learning experience for National Reconciliation Week: 27 May - 3 June 2020.
Use these exciting online resources and activities for all stages from Early Learning through to Stage 4.
Launches 25 May

Sorry Day Address
Professor Lindon Coombes and Cecilia Anthony Reconciliation NSW Co-Chairs on share about Sorry Day on Facebook and Twitter
Reconciliation NSW
26 May 12 noon

Treaties and Reconciliation Webinar
First Nations' experts Tony McAvoy SC, Elly Patira, and Marcus Stewart  reflect on reconciliation, and offer views on how and why treaty-making can advance reconciliation in Australia. Join the expert panel discussion moderated by Professor Kirsty Gover. Register 
Melbourne Law School and ANTaR
26 May 11:00am - 12:00pm

Conversations from the Heart
Webinar with Professor Megan Davis, Dean Parkin, Donnella Mills in conversation with Fiona McLeod AO SC.
NACCHO and King & Wood Mallesons.
27 May 12:30pm - 1:30pm

In This Together Virtual Breakfast 
NRW Virtual Breakfast with Patricia Turner AM, CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to be the keynote for this year’s virtual event.  
Reconciliation SA 
27 May 7:30am

Acknowledgement of Country NSW
Acknowledgement of Country from Reconciliation NSW with Yvonne Weldon CEO Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. Facebook
Reconciliation NSW
27 May 12 noon
Anniversary Bridge Walk Panel Discussion
Ken Wyatt, Linda Burney, Karen Mundine, Summer May Finlay Facebook live on Reconciliation Australia Facebook page and ABC Facebook pages.
28 May 12 noon

2020 Virtual Bridge Walk - Walking Together
Zoom Conversations remembering 20 years since the Bridge Walks for Reconciliation and reflect on where we are now.
Register here for this event.
Blue Mountains People for Reconciliation 
28 May 6:00pm 

Celebrating Indigenous Authors
Meet Bruce Pascoe and John Waight in conversation with KWM’s Murray Prior
Register here with Kings & Wood Mallesons
28 May 10:30am - 11:30am 

In Concert Together: Reconciliation Australia and ABC
Busby Marou, Alice Skye, and Jimblah in concert, hosted by Christine Anu on her National Evenings show on ABC Radio
and on Facebook live on Reconciliation Australia Facebook page and ABC Facebook pages. 
Reconciliation Australia and ABC
 29 May 9:00pm - 10:00pm 

Learn more about the Uluru Statement from the Heart
Join Thomas Mayor, who was part of the 2017 Uluru Convention, and BM People for Reconciliation. Register at bridgew20@gmail.com by 29th May to participate.
Blue Mountains People for Reconciliation
1 June 12 noon 

Reconciliation NSW In This Together Twitter Festival
Join our twitter festival with Linda Burney MP, Professor Lindon Coombes, Cecilia Anthony Co-Chairs of Reconciliation NSW & Trent Wallace [-o-] Lawyer and Corporate Responsibility Coordinator, Reconciliation Ashurst
Reconcilation NSW
2 June 11:30am - 2:00pm

First Nations Poetry
Meet First Nations Poets, Kirli Saunders and Nicole Smede, a moving poetic experience on Twitter and FB 
Reconciliation NSW and Red Room Poetry.
27 May - 3 June

Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley
Online Screening
The Film screening will be followed by a special Q&A with its director, writer and producer Nicholas Wrathall. Download Educational Resources for Undermined.
Bennelong Reconciliation Group
2 June 6:00pm

When The River Runs Dry
Q&A Online Discussion Forum
Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth, Aunty Steff Armstrong, Peter Yates, Dr Emma Carmody & Uncle Rodney Dillon
Amnesty International
5 June 6:00pm

Virtual Commemoration of the Myall Creek massacre
and the 20th anniversary of the Myall Creek Memorial  
Friends of Myall Creek Memorial
6 June 

Njunaliin ngaralanga dharawalwulawala nguradhanhay ngaliya
We respect Aboriginal peoples as the First Peoples and Custodians of NSW


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.



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.


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
Need to contact us?

Call 1300 581 299 (weekdays 8:30am-4pm and Saturday 9am-1pm) or email council@bayside.nsw.gov.au