Chairperson – Emessage No 17, 10 May 2018

Term 4, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body

Dear Community members

It has been a few months since my last message, and it seems to have been a very busy time across our community.  I want to acknowledge a couple of great achievements in the local community (and I know there have been many), firstly a huge congratulations to Ms Dhani Gilbert on being named Canberra’s Youth Citizen of the Year for 2018. I also want to wish Winnunga Nimmityjah a very Happy 30th Birthday for this May – a wonderful milestone.

This message is also to provide an update on some work the Elected Body have been undertaking over the last few months including:

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Hearings

The Elected Body Hearing was held on the 14-15 March 2018.  Over the two days we were able to ask questions of the ACT Government Directorates on programs and services being delivered to our community.  A significant number of our questions came from the community and we are very thankful for your contribution and the opportunity to represent you in this process.

Some of the key issues raised in the hearings which we will be addressing with Government are around opening up access to Boomanulla Oval (as well as seeking that the long term plans for community management of the site be finalized soon), pursuing new or purpose built premises for Gugan Gulwan, addressing issues regarding incarceration numbers and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, and providing appropriate support to victims of crime to name a few.  We are currently working on the report on the outcomes of the hearing and developing a range of recommendations to present to the ACT Government to improve the lives, services and outcomes for our community.

Renewal of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Whole of Government Agreement and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership

A new agreement between the Elected body on behalf of the community and the ACT Government is due to be finalised this year.  We have been working with the ACT Government on development of the consultation plan and way forward.  We believe one agreement, with each Directorate having an action plan outlining their contribution to delivering outcomes is the way to proceed.  This will ensure the key areas of focus as provided by the community are consistent across the entire ACT Government and it will be easier for us all to see what progress is being made where.

 Reconciliation Day 28 May 2018

On 28 May 2018 the ACT will observe a public holiday to recognize the need for and journey of Reconciliation in Australia.  A key feature of the Reconciliation Day Public Holiday Day will be a major public event held at Glebe Park where the whole community can come together to recognise and discuss what Reconciliation means to us all.  The event will include a range of stalls, entertainment and yarning spaces.  We look forward to seeing you all there on the day. For other Reconciliation Week activities in the ACT please check out Reconciliation Australia’s website.

ACT Policing Community Forum – Belconnen Child and Family Centre

On the 27 February 2018 ACT Policing held a forum at the Belconnen Child and Family Centre where four groups made presentations on their respective Diversionary programs.  It was a great opportunity to see what was available and what was possible to adapt for the ACT.  The Elected Body is continuing to work with the ACT Government and ACT Policing on a range of issues which will lead to providing our community with supports for families and programs where our young people can be diverted to in order to keep them away from the justice system. The Police will be hosting an event at Gugan Gulwan on 23 May 2018 from 3pm and I hope to see many of you there.

If you have any questions or any feedback please provide them by email to or calling the Secretariat on 02 6205 2551.

Katrina Fanning

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body