What is public exhibition?

    The Council endorses the public exhibition of draft plans and reports to give our community an opportunity to provide feedback before the documents are finalised and adopted by the elected Council.

    What document is on public exhibition?

    How long is the exhibition period?

    The exhibition period runs from Thursday 28 March until Tuesday 30 April, a total of 34 Days.

    How can I provide my feedback during the public exhibition?

    1.  Online feedback form, including prepared submissions;

    2.  Send written submissions to: Lake Macquarie City Council, Box 1906, Hunter Regional Mail Centre NSW 2310; or

    3.  Email [email protected]

    What is the Aboriginal Community Plan and why do we have it?

    An important focus of our City Vision is to foster a City that strives to be fair for all. We value connected communities 'that support and care for all and provide a sense of belonging' (City Vision and Community Values, November 2016).

    The draft Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 'Bayikulinan' aims to highlight the needs and opportunities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in Lake Macquarie, and identify priorities and strategies to undertake over the next four years to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. 

    This Plan forms part of a suite of plans that identify Council’s actions in working with various groups, such as children and families, young people, multicultural groups, the ageing population and people with disability.

    The Lake Macquarie Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 is a strategic document that links in with these Council plans and strategies:

    • Arts, Heritage and Cultural Plan 2017-2027;
    • Community Strategic Plan 2017-2027;
    • Ageing Population Strategy 2018-2022;
    • Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2017-2021;
    • Lake Macquarie Children and Family Strategy 2015-2020;
    • Lake Macquarie Multicultural Plan 2016-2020;
    • Lake Macquarie Youth Strategy 2014-2019;
    • Lake Macquarie Crime Prevention Plan 2015-2018; and
    • Aboriginal Heritage Management Strategy 2011.

    What are some of the key actions of the draft Aboriginal Community Plan?

    Over the life of this new Plan, some of the key actions across Council include:

    • Assisting in the preparation of Swansea Heads boardwalk;
    • Working collaboratively to develop a new wing of the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery dedicated to contemporary Aboriginal art;
    • Extending interpretive signage and artwork along the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track;
    • Continuing to fund cultural programs such as NAIDOC Week;
    • Assisting in developing a dedicated Aboriginal Cultural Centre;
    • Engaging local Aboriginal cultural performers and artists for large-scale Council community events; and
    • Advocating for ways to revive Aboriginal language and cultural practices.
    View more highlights on page 18 and 19 or the complete action plan from page 23 of the draft Aboriginal Community Plan

    What did the previous Aboriginal Community Plan achieve?

    Some of the achievements from the previous Aboriginal Community Plan include:

    • Provide financial assistance to schools and not-for-profits participating in NAIDOC Week;
    • Install interpretative signage explaining elements of European and Aboriginal culture along the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track;
    • Host Aboriginal Cultural Awareness workshops;
    • Implementation of a dedicated Council newsletter to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the Koori Grapevine;
    • Established partnerships Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other organisations;
    • Support Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery's Aboriginal Reference Group;
    • Promote local Aboriginal history and culture through the library’s Cultural Knowledge Centre;
    • Celebrate NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week;
    • Establish an internal Aboriginal Support Network for staff;
    • Develop a webpage on Council's website for specific cultural information;
    • Provide opportunities for mentoring and engaging young Aboriginal people in community activities;
    • Promotion of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's achievements; and
    • Promote awareness and understanding through permanent displays of Aboriginal cultural items and artworks in Council’s Administration Building foyer.

    Who was consulted and how was the feedback from earlier consultation utilised by Council?

    The suggestions and inclusions collected during the first round of community consultation was used to prepare the focus areas and actions of the draft Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 'Bayikulinan'.  

    The consultation process identified local concerns and values and helped Council to better understand the needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.

    During the consultation, more than 200 people actively participated and provided contributions towards the plan, including:
    • Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents;
    • Bahtabah and Westlakes Elders groups;
    • The Awabakal, Bahtabah and Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Councils;
    • Lake Macquarie Aboriginal Reference Group;
    • 10 community and support service providers; and
    • 3 education and training providers.

    View the consultation engagement summary.

    Who is invited to give feedback?

    • Elders, knowledge holders and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are encouraged to provide feedback. 
    • It is open to anyone who would like to provide feedback on the draft Aboriginal Community Plan. 

    Where can I view a hard copy of the draft Aboriginal Community Plan?

    The draft Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 - ‘Bayikulinan’ (to act in the future) is available to view at:

    • Nikinpa Aboriginal Child and Family Health Centre, Toronto;
    • all Lake Macquarie Libraries branches; and
    • Council’s Administration Building, 126-138 Main Road, Speers Point.

    Why is community feedback important?

    Community input into Council strategies and plans during public exhibition periods helps to ensure they meet the needs of all aspects of Lake Macquarie community and all views are considered.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    Maree Edwards, Aboriginal Community Development Officer

    Phone: 02 4921 0333 or email [email protected].

    What are the next steps?

    Feedback on the draft Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 'Bayikulinan' will be reported and appropriately incorporated into the final draft submitted to Council for endorsement. Once endorsed, Council Officers will implement the Plan.