Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hornsby boosts Aboriginal committee numbers

Hornsby Shire Council has appointed 14 community members to the Hornsby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee (HATSICC).

The new intake of volunteers will include 11 Aboriginal people – almost double last year’s appointments – becoming the highest ever representation on the committee, Council said in a statement today.

Formed in 2006, HATSICC is Council’s link with First Nations peoples in the Shire, respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to self-determination and community empowerment, it said.

“The bloodline descendants of the Hornsby area would like to congratulate all the successful candidates for this year’s Hornsby Shire Council HATSICC, a collaborative consultative group protecting and promoting Aboriginal cultural heritage and cultural events within the Shire,” said Auntie Tracey Howie, GuriNgai Traditional Owner.

“We would also like to congratulate Hornsby Shire Council for their continued support and promotion of the local Aboriginal cultures and communities, and we look forward to continuing our respectful, eventful and meaningful relationship into the future.”

Darug Traditional Owner, Auntie Leanne Watson, also spoke of the significance of the committee.

“On behalf of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation I would like to congratulate Council and the new members of the Hornsby Shire Council HATSICC on the wonderful, continued collaboration for the sharing of our culture and walking together on Darug and GuriNgai Ngurra,” she said.

Council says the committee’s advice has led to a range of important initiatives including the development and adoption of a Statement of Reconciliation in 2008; inviting Traditional Custodians to give a Welcome to Country at all Council meetings and Citizenship Ceremonies; the adoption of a Dual Naming Policy; the re-naming of the Pennant Hills Community Nursery to Warada Ngurang Community Nursery; the installation of Aboriginal artwork across the Shire reflecting Aboriginal culture; and adopting the Uluru Statement from the Heart in April 2019.

“Hornsby Shire Council has a strong commitment to the acknowledgement of First Nations peoples and to working with the local Aboriginal community through this important committee. We were delighted to receive a record number of nominees this year, reflecting the strong community interest in empowering local Aboriginal people and raising awareness of their culture,” said Hornsby Shire Mayor, Philip Ruddock.

Following a very strong response to a call for nominees, Council resolved to increase voluntary community membership of the HATSICC from 12 to 14, designate a position for the Hornsby Area Residents for Reconciliation community group and increase Councillor representation from six to seven. It also moved to schedule an informal workshop to discuss the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

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