456th NSWALC Council Meeting

6 May, 2024

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) met for its 456th Meeting on Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Parramatta.

A number of topics were discussed over the 2-day meeting, including updates from Yilabara and Birribee Housing, the NSWALC Investment Fund performance, and NSWALC’s participation in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People (EMRIP) being held later this year.

Councillor Portfolios

Council has allocated dedicated portfolios to bolster its strategic engagement on key matters and ensure effective representation in decision-making processes. The portfolios have been carefully selected based on clusters directly aligned with the strategic priorities outlined in the NSWALC Strategic Plan. The following portfolios have been determined:

  • Land, Housing and Economy: Cr Ross Hampton, Cr Diane Randall and Cr Grace Toomey
  • Aboriginal Culture and Heritage: Cr Ray Kelly, Cr Leeanne Hampton, Cr Danny Chapman
  • Closing the Gap and CAPO: Cr Charles Lynch, Cr Ross Hampton and Cr Peter Smith
  • Treaty and Human Rights: Cr Ray Kelly, Cr Anne Dennis and Cr Peter Smith

Yilabara Update 

Yilabara was pleased to inform the Council of a number of milestones, including the placement of their 450th Aboriginal community member into employment.   

Yilabara has been awarded a contract beginning 1 July 2024, to deliver Indigenous mentoring across NSW and Australian Apprenticeship Support Services.  This contract will see Yilabara supporting over 600 Aboriginal families through NSW.

Yilabara, working with the National Wellbeing Alliance, has facilitated workshops in over 60 different Aboriginal Communities this year, supporting over 1600 Community members and frontline workers in undertaking this important training.

Birribee Housing Update  

Birribee Housing informed Council that it is currently active in multiple locations, including Wagga, Moree, and Western Sydney. In Wagga Wagga, a tenant officer is now based in the Tolland Gardens Community Centre, assisting tenants who are impacted by the Tolland Estate Renewal Program.  Birribee reported that due to funding from Closing the Gap, they have now established themselves in Moree to support the Moree LALC properties and households. 

Birribee also updated Council on its Western Sydney plans with the NSW government  contracting Birribee to develop and deliver the first Aboriginal-led Specialist Homelessness Service. The process of stakeholder engagement and service co-design has been completed. Recruitment of the new homelessness team is well advanced, and service delivery is imminent. 

Investment Fund

The Council received the NSWALC Investment Fund report for the month ending February 29, 2024, which recorded a positive 1.9% return for that period and a positive 9.1% for the previous 12 months.

The Investment Fund recorded positive 6.3%, 6.1% and 6.3% for the previous three, five and
10-year periods respectively.

EMRIP Interventions

The Council has agreed to participate in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People (EMRIP) later this year.  The Council will be submitting Interventions into the following agenda items:

  • Item 3: Study and advice on Constitutions, laws, legislation, policies, judicial decisions, and other mechanisms through which States have taken measures to achieve the ends of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in accordance with Article 38 of the Declaration.
  • Item 5:  United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Interactive dialogue with UNPFII, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples and members of the United Nations Treaty Bodies
  • Item 7: International Decade of Indigenous Languages
  • Item 8: Panel discussion on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in post-conflict situations and peace negotiations, agreements, and accords
  • Item 9: Enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations
  • Item 10:  Future work of the Expert Mechanism, and follow up to thematic studies and advice.

Acknowledgement

We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.

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