Aboriginal council of the year
Lake Macquarie City Council has won Council of the Year at the 2016 New South Wales Local Government Aboriginal Network Awards.
The award recognises Council’s dedicated programs that celebrate Indigenous heritage and bring the Aboriginal and broader community together.
Council’s Acting Manager Community Planning, Andrew Bryant, said more than 6500 residents in Lake Macquarie identify themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and this award is a testament to Council’s commitment to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as their history, culture and achievements.
“This year Council had great success in maintaining partnerships with the community and our local Aboriginal Land Councils to deliver a range of exciting programs aimed at encouraging healthy living, community leadership, participation in community events and raising public awareness,” Mr Bryant said.
Doug Archibald, a Works Assistant who has been with Council for more than 30 years and a renowned Aboriginal artist, was named 2016 NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council Outdoor Employee of the Year.
Mr Archibald is a proud descendent of the Gumbangurri clan and has made a significant impact in and around Lake Macquarie through his artistic talent in various mediums.
Adam Lee, a Bush Regenerator for Lake Macquarie Landcare, was named Young Achiever of the Year for his work in mentoring and mediation, and providing leadership to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
A proud descendant of the Gomeroi and Wiradjuri peoples, Mr Lee has forged close relationships with young people, Aboriginal Elders and community leaders.
Over the past year, Council has supported and worked closely with the community to: provide financial assistance to 24 organisations participating in NAIDOC Week; install interpretative signage explaining elements of European and Aboriginal culture along the Fernleigh Track; host Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness workshops; promote local Aboriginal history and culture through the library’s Cultural Knowledge Centre; celebrate NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week; promote awareness and understanding through permanent displays of Aboriginal cultural items and artworks in Council’s Administration Building foyer; provide opportunities for mentoring and engaging young Aboriginal people in community activities; and highlight the achievements of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the quarterly Koori Grapevine newsletter.