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The NSW Government is committed to a 12-month consultation process with Aboriginal communities on their aspirations for a Treaty framework or other formal agreement making process, to be led by three dedicated Commissioners.

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Message from the Head of Aboriginal Affairs – 26 January


For me, the mainstream celebration of “Australia Day” is one that always stirs strong emotions, and at times it’s not easy to find the words to put on a page to describe how I feel about it.

As this day approaches I reflect on our distinct history and culture that extends over 60,000 years. I pay my deepest respect to our Elders past and present and acknowledge your mobs and Country. I celebrate our First Nations cultural strength and enduring resilience and I am truly grateful to our ancestors. We are here because of your strength.

As the pandemic continues, and our recommended movement is limited, this 26 January I encourage you all to stay close to home and continue to celebrate and share our culture – its history and achievements, with your mobs.

One of the events I’m looking forward to is the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve, taking in our culture through the event’s Smoking Ceremony, dances and performances, which this year include Emma Donovan and the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe. If you’re interested in experiencing the ceremony, you can stream it via ABC TV.

I’m proud that Aboriginal Affairs NSW has also been able to continue its support of the Yabun Festival – the largest one day celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the country.

This year while each of its key events has a limited in-person capacity, all of the day’s action will be livestreamed to you from three venues: the Yabun stage at the Seymour Centre, Speak Out from the University of Sydney and Corroboree from Victoria Park. 

There’s always a fantastic range of performers, topics and panellists, so I encourage you to find out more information about this year’s line-up when available on the festival’s Facebook.

I’d like to leave you with this quote, which certainly helps me at this time of year:

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” - Linda Hogan

Lil Gordon
Head of Aboriginal Affairs 

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