Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we now stand. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present.

North Sydney Council acknowledges the Cammeraygal People as being the traditional owners of this land and pay respect to elders past and present.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population in North Sydney

According to the 2016 ABS Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders numbered 201 and made up 0.3% of the North Sydney population. Of these residents,104 were male and 97 female, living in 141 households with 16.8% being children 0-14 years and 7.4% 65+ years. Although significantly lower than the average for Sydney (1.3%), NSW (2.9%) and Australia (2.8%), the population has grown significantly since 1986 when according to the census, there were just 61 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in North Sydney.

 

The Uluru Statement from the Heart

In 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered to make this statement from the heart:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

For the full Uluru Statement go to: ulurustatement.org

Translations of The Statement from the Heart into multiple languages were completed in partnership with the Northern Sydney Aboriginal Reconciliation Network in 2020 with the approval of the Authors of the Statement, Megan Davis Aboriginal Professor of Law at NSW University and Auntie Pat. These are available on our Multiculturalism page.

 

Gai-mariagal Festival

North Sydney Council has partnered with the Gai-mariagal Festival (previously Guringai) since its foundation in 2001. The festival aims to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture from the Northern Sydney region. For more information on the Festival, go to: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Gai-mariagal

 

Aboriginal Heritage

In Stanton Library’s Heritage Centre, Council’s Historian has collected information and written about Aboriginal North Sydney which covers pre-colonial and colonial history and is available for loan. Such documents recognise contact and interaction with people like “Barangaroo and the original residents, as well as the ancient history and lore of this land”.

For further information go to: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Library_Databases/Heritage_Centre

For information about Aboriginal Heritage Sites in the North Sydney area including conservation and management plans the Aboriginal Heritage page of the website.

The Coal Loader app launched in 2021, includes the Council Bushland Walking Tracks brochure with information from the AHO on “Cammeraygal Country”. ie. “The Cammeraygal people, the original inhabitants, who had strong ties of kinship and were skilled hunters, fishers, agriculturists and gatherers. For more information on the Coal Loader and information about the App, go to: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/coalloader

 

Arts and Culture

Public artworks by Aboriginal artists connected to the North Sydney area such as Tim Moriarty and the late Yaegl artist Jessica Birk have been commissioned by North Sydney Council.

Council partnered with Birk to deliver a range of community art projects including creative and cultural heritage workshops for secondary school students, temporary public artworks on traffic signal boxes and numerous exhibitions in Council’s inTransit Art Space, among other initiatives. Council commissioned Aboriginal artist Bibi Barber to create an artwork featured on the 2010 Guringai Festival poster and brochure. For more details on Arts and Culture in North Sydney, go to: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/artsandculture

 

Aboriginal Protocol Document

Council's Aboriginal Protocol document is in the process of being updated. In the meantime the 2014 Version is available below.

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