Council strengthens its commitment to working with local Aboriginal community

Hornsby Shire Council

Children's Voices for Reconciliation concert, National Reconciliation Week 2022

First Nations people in Hornsby Shire will have their voices heard more than ever as Hornsby Shire Council last night appointed 14 voluntary community members to the Hornsby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee (HATSICC).

The new intake will include 11 Aboriginal people, almost doubling last year, becoming the highest ever representation on the committee.

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

“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 talked about 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.”

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 resolved to schedule an informal workshop to discuss the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

At last night’s meeting, Council also resolved to appoint new members to another of its important committees – the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Advisory Committee. Formed in 1994, the committee helps Council manage heritage items, conservation areas and strategic heritage projects. Mayor Ruddock emphasised the important work of the committee.

“Hornsby Shire has a rich and significant history. The volunteers play an important role in preserving this. Congratulations and thank you all our new committee members.”

Also at last night’s meeting, Council:

  • Received a Mayoral Minute on the passing of Mr Bill Bradley
  • Received a Mayoral Minute about the passing of Trevor McCaskill
  • Noted the draft Brooklyn Car Park Management Plan for public exhibition. Following the exhibition period, Council will consider community and stakeholder feedback including any proposed changes and next steps prior to reporting back to Council
  • Resolved to submit motions dealing with amendments to the Companion Animals Act at the 2022 Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and to hold a workshop to discuss changes to the Fauna Management Plan. Council determined which nine Councillors will vote at the 2022 conference
  • Resolved to classify four parcels of land in Hornsby and Asquith acquired for road widening as Operational Land and dedicate them as Public Roads
  • Noted that details regarding the provision of Councillor expenses from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 have been tabled
  • Received a report on the status of investments and borrowings
  • Approved draft amendments to the Hornsby Development Control Plan 2013.

The full agenda of the meeting, along with details of each item discussed, is available at The video recording of the meeting will be available from tomorrow afternoon.

Image: Children’s Voices for Reconciliation concert, National Reconciliation Week 2022

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