Chairperson Messages

eMessage ATSIEB Chairperson – 22 December 2021

Yuma Community members,

I hope this message finds you and your families well.

As we are approaching the holiday season, I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a better New Year in 2022. As we are out enjoying the warmer weather and visiting family and friends, I once again like to remind that you need to minimise the risk of getting the Covid virus. Everyone is reminded that if they can, be fully vaccinated and when eligible go out and get your vaccination booster. The latest COVID-19 health information is available at

COVID 19 Update

As of midnight last night there have been changes regarding the wearing of masks. The current advice is masks must be worn in all indoor settings other than a place of residence. These include:

  • indoor retail settings
  • public transport
  • hospitality venues (except when seated, or eating or drinking)
  • indoor workplaces
  • visitors and staff in residential aged care facilities.

Mandatory mask wearing continues in settings where they were already mandated, such as in airports and on planes.

COVID-19 vaccinations for children

Bookings for children aged 5 to 11 years are now available at ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Children aged 5 to 11 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine from Monday 10 January 2022, pending availability of supply. Children will receive 2 paediatric doses of a Pfizer vaccine, 8-weeks apart.

To make a booking for your child, please call the ACT COVID-19 vaccine booking line on (02) 5124 7700, between 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. You can also call Winnunga to book in vaccines for your child on 6284 6222, which will begin from 10 January 2022.

COVID-19 booster vaccinations

If you’re aged 18 years and over, you can get a COVID-19 booster dose 5 months after your second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Those who become eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose before or during the December and New Year holiday period (i.e. up to 3 January 2022) can receive them earlier than 5 months. You can receive this at Winnunga who are also doing walk-ins, or you can book in by calling 6284 6222. You can also walk-in to the AIS Arena until 3.30pm Friday 24 December to get your booster dose (no booking required). Bookings at ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinics in January 2022 onwards are available over the phone by calling (02) 5124 7700 or online using MyDHR.

For more information, see our latest COVID-19 vaccine news.

ATSIEB Community Engagement

Since the last newsletter the Elected Body members have progressed the community consultation plan which is approaching finalisation. This is important in assisting with engaging with the community. Our engagement with the community is central to the success of the Elected Body. More information in relation to how we are undertaking these consultations will be announced in future newsletters in the new year. We are always interested to hear from the community about how they would like to be engaged and what are important community topics. Please feel free to reach out to an Elected Body member or email or call our secretariat if you have ideas.

Watch Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Open Day on demand

The CIT recently held an online Open Day. If you missed this event, you can still watch the whole event on demand. Hear about courses available in 2022 directly from the CIT staff and teachers. Please visit the CIT website to learn about the range of courses and services across CIT including Electrical, Media, Science, Fashion, IT, Plumbing, Business Management as well as from staff at Yurauna, CIT’s dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educational Centre of Excellence.

CONGRATULATIONS! Indigenous graduate Corey Grafen wishes graduating CIT students well

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) held its 2021 Year 12 graduation on 15 December.

Corey Grafen, a descendent of the Mirning and Kokatha peoples of South Australia graduated from CIT College as a mature age Year 12 student in 2015. As a highly accomplished and inspiring CIT graduate Corey was invited to give a speech and congratulate the students at this year’s CIT Year 12 Graduation.

Corey was named the winner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award at the Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) Excellence Awards ceremony in 2015; he studied Community Services, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Youth Work and Education Support in 2018; and completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work at the end of 2020.

Speaking at the 2021 CIT Year 12 virtual graduation ceremony on 15 December, Corey said:

‘This year has been a big commitment for me, supporting Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and young people by delivering and facilitating cultural education and programs to promote social and emotional wellbeing.

‘Never give up, be passionate, be adventurous, have your supports. Enjoy yourself, and the hard work and sacrifice will pay off at the end.’

Corey currently works as an Indigenous Education Officer for primary and secondary students, and as a Youth Residential Care Worker for young people in crisis accommodation.

It was a great honour for CIT to welcome Corey back to share his story and inspire year 12 graduates and to wish them all the best for their future. It’s with these stories and connections that we see our community come together and support each other now and into the future.

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate – ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project (the Project)

Throughout 2021, the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) has continued the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project (the Project). The purpose of the project is to deliver a planning system that is clear, easy to use and that facilitates the realisation of long-term aspirations for the growth and development of Canberra while maintaining its valued character. We are providing a Project Update to keep stakeholders and interested people informed about the progress of the Project over the last 12 months.

The Project Update Paper provides a summary of the technical work and consultation undertaken in 2021 and provides further detail on the reform pathway for 2022. The Project Update also provides further detail on the proposed key elements of the reformed planning system.

In early 2022, the focus will be on the release of a consultation draft of the new Planning Bill for public feedback and comments. We are also continuing to progress work on draft district strategies and a new Territory Plan, and will undertake public consultation on these later in 2022.

There will be several opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to participate in these processes in a focussed way, as well as through the broader public consultation processes. This is an important opportunity to have a say on how our planning system can better represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, so we encourage you to get involved. As these projects progress, we will have more to say on how and when these conversations can happen.

More information is available at Project Update Paper – Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate – Planning (

Construction starts on Canberra Hospital’s Critical Services Building

Following more than 18 months of preparation to get the hospital campus ready for construction, hospital staff, patients and visitors will notice visible changes on the site as the project comes to life.

The new building will be an 8-level structure located in the north-east corner of the Canberra Hospital campus, linking back to the existing hospital building.

This construction milestone means that, in just a few years, Canberrans will have access to the very best modern hospital facilities with more beds, more treatment spaces and a bigger emergency department.

Want to get involved? Job Opportunities

The Head Contractor is committed to creating jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and are committed to spending 10% (stretch target 12%) of the combined value of the trade costs on employment and contracting opportunities for the Indigenous community. So far, over $720,000 has been paid to Indigenous contractors and workers on the project. This includes employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, procurement through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses, and through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and training programs.

If you are looking for job opportunities on the project go to the to find out more.

To make way for the new Critical Services Building, two existing buildings on the campus were demolished. A Smoking Ceremony conducted by Ngunnawal Elder Warren Daley acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land and cleansed the site prior to the start of hard demolition works. The Canberra Hospital Expansion project team continues to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health consumers on the design and construction of the new facilities.

ACT Government

The ACT Government is currently working with the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) to analyse the findings of the pilot employee survey, the survey was the first of its kind for the ACTPS and will provide great insights into the issues that matter most to us and the experiences that we have had whilst working in the ACTPS. The survey had great participation rates. This work will help to inform action across the ACTPS.

The Government is working closely with the Workforce Capability and Governance Divisions to strengthen the leadership and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff across the ACTPS, this includes the creation of a new whole of government unit focused on developing leadership opportunities for staff.

Summer holiday bus timetable

Transport Canberra will run a revised bus timetable over the summer holiday period from Monday 20 December 2021 until Sunday 30 January 2022, inclusive. This is the regular timetable but with less frequency during peak times. On public holidays bus services will run on a Sunday timetable while on other days during this period bus services will run to a summer holiday timetable.

Light rail services

Light rail services will continue to operate as normal during the summer holiday period with the exception of public holidays. On public holidays (ie. Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) light rail will run to a Sunday frequency of every 15 minutes from 8:00am to 11:00pm.

Travel on Christmas Day

Saturday 25 December (Christmas Day) is a special public holiday timetable with free travel on both buses and light rail.


A complete list of all routes in pdf format is available in the Transport Canberra summer holiday timetable.

Staying COVID safe on public transport

You are reminded to be COVID safe while using public transport over the summer. A range of changes are in place to help keep you safe.

Rapid Services

Rapids are frequent direct bus and light rail routes that run between town centres and other key destinations.

Rapid map.

As we move towards 2022, we wish you all seasons greetings and a happy new year. I would like to remind everyone to stay safe if you are travelling and keep up the Covid awareness!

Djan Yimaba Yara
(Thank you and Bye in Ngunnawal language)

Lynnice Church


ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body

Media contact

ATSIEB Secretariat

(02) 6205 2551

Media release

22 December 2021


Acknowledgement of Country


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body acknowledges the traditional custodians of Canberra, and those who have made it their home. We celebrate their ongoing culture and contribution to the ACT and surrounding regions.