Draft Central Coast First Nations Accord and Acknowledgement of Country

Draft Central Coast First Nations Accord and Acknowledgement of Country

Public exhibition

Project overview 

In consultation with local First Nations Leaders, Council has developed:

  • A draft First Nations Accord; and
  • A draft Acknowledgement of Country

The Accord and Acknowledgement have been endorsed by Council to go on Public Exhibition for 28 days to seek feedback from the broader community.

The Draft First Nations Accord is an important step on the journey of Reconciliation and developing a shared vision for our future with our local First Nations people.

There are 19 commitments in the Accord which align with and deliver against the Priority Reform areas within the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

The Central Coast LGA is one of the largest and fastest growing Aboriginal communities in Australia. This population grew by 38% in the last Census reporting period, with significant growth expected into the future.

Unfortunately, Aboriginal people still experience higher levels of disadvantage than that of non-Indigenous people. 
The main focus of the Accord is to define how we can listen to and work with Aboriginal people to realise their future and improve their quality of life.

Have your say

Central Coast Council looks forward to a future where the relationship with First Nations Leaders is strengthened, young leaders are empowered, and collaboration is genuine.
The community is invited to: 

  • Read the Draft First Nations Accord
  • Read the Draft Acknowledgement of Country (below)

    ”We acknowledge we live, work and play on Darkinjung Country. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging and recognise their continued connection to these lands and waterways. We acknowledge our shared responsibility to care for and protect our place and people”.
     
  • View the Frequently Asked Questions (available below)

Submissions are to be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Farmer between 2 May and 30 May 2022 via: 

When providing feedback to Council your attention is drawn to the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 which allows for possible access to certain public and personal documentation. View our privacy statement.
 

Artist Statement

The artwork is a representation of gunni thakun (Mother Earth) giving birth to all living things in Australia. It shows how important our women are to our culture and how they must be respected and treated at all times. The designs inside her shows the different lores and stories, with each representing those same values. The inside of her body is filled with red, white and yellow ochre, to show how special she is as a woman, including the colours in her legs being symbolic of the country and salt water people. The surrounding designs represent stories and the creation of the lore in line with all the different country’s within Australia.

About the artist

Kyle Waters is a Kamilaroi descendant who lives on the Central Coast, NSW. He is an emerging young artist and former winner of the Maliga Indigenous Arts and Culture Showcase 2018 (Elders Choice Award). Kyle has participated in many community-led programs, funded by Central Coast Council including the Ngura Health and Lifestyle program. Since graduating, Kyle has become a promising young creative and his work been acquired by the Department of Education and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and his designs are featured on coffee mugs, magnets, footy boots and boomerangs.

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Public exhibition: First Nations Accord & Acknowledgment of Country
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Who's listening

Who's listening
Name
Belinda McRobie
What is the purpose of the First Nation’s Accord?

The Draft First Nations Accord is an important step on the journey of reconciliation and developing a shared vision for our future with our local First Nations people.
The Accord is a commitment to the First Nations People that Council will not only continue to support the principles of cooperation, but also listen to history and support Aboriginal people to realise their future. 

What benefits will the Accord deliver?

There are 19 commitments in the Accord which are aligned with Government frameworks such as Local Decision Making and delivers against the Priority Reform areas within the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

The Accord acknowledges the significance of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and commits to strengthening this important relationship to ensure both parties are able to maximise outcomes for the community.

There are some key commitments within the Draft Accord including:

  • To establish a new MOU with DLALC 
  • To establish a broad-based Aboriginal Advisory Committee – to provide a mechanism for representation of the local Aboriginal community to have meaningful engagement with Council while we work through the next steps on our shared journey in a collaborative manner.

Other critical focus areas within the Accord are to advance opportunities for increased employment, and better education and health outcomes locally.
 

Why do we need a First Nations Accord?

The Central Coast LGA is one of the largest and fastest growing Aboriginal communities in Australia with many moving here for a better life, more opportunities, and connection to family already here. This population grew by 38% in the last Census reporting period, with significant growth expected into the foreseeable future. 

Unfortunately, Aboriginal people still experience higher levels of disadvantage than that of non-Indigenous people, and the main focus of the Accord is to define how we can listen to and work with Aboriginal people to realise their future and improve their quality of life.

The Draft Accord has been developed to be both meaningful and achievable within Council’s current financial and human resourcing constraints, and the proposed commitments have been aligned to fit within the 4 priority reform areas within the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

Does this Accord recognise Traditional Owners?

Council concedes there are conflicting views within the local Aboriginal community regarding recognition of Traditional Ownership of local lands.  Council does not have any role in determining any such claims and accepts that there are established mechanisms at a State and Federal Government level.

There are currently no registered nor determined Native Title claims locally. 

The Accord acknowledges and respects the role and function of Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council as the locally established statutory body with the mandated responsibility to represent and care for the local Aboriginal community, and manage local Aboriginal lands, culture and heritage.

Should there be a successful Native Title claim, and the relevant Native Title Body Corporate be established locally, Council would naturally recognise this body as being representative of the local Traditional Owners.

Who did you talk to in the development of the First Nations Accord?

Through the development of this draft Accord, Council officers engaged with Darkinjung LALC and local First Nations Leaders. Consultation was also undertaken with all relevant Council Business Units to ensure the proposed commitments were achievable.

The purpose of the public exhibition period is to consult with the broader community and seek their opinions on the commitments proposed.
 

Why is there a draft Acknowledgement of Country on Exhibition?

At its meeting on April 26, 2022, Council resolved to exhibit the draft Acknowledgement of Country at the same time as the draft First Nations Accord.

What is an Acknowledgement of Country?

An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country.

Why is an Acknowledgement of Country important?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced a long history of exclusion from Australian history books, the Australian flag, the Australian anthem and for many years, Australian democracy.

This history of dispossession and colonisation lies at the heart of the disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians today.

Including recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in events, meetings and national symbols contributes to ending the exclusion that has been so damaging.

Incorporating welcoming and acknowledgement protocols into official meetings and events recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of land and shows respect.

Can I provide feedback on both the Accord and the Acknowledgement of Country?

Yes. You can provide feedback on both or either.

How can I have my say on the draft Central Coast First Nations Accord and Acknowledgement of Country?

The community are invited to have their say on the draft Central Coast First Nations Accord and draft Acknowledgement of Country between 2 May and 30 May 2022. This can be done by: 

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