It is an historic week for the NSW Land Rights network, with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) sitting its 400th meeting.
Councillors have travelled from across the state to attend the meeting in Broken Hill from Tuesday October 27 to Wednesday October 28.
They will be joined by the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the Hon. Don Harwin MLC to mark the significant occasion.
The week will begin on Tuesday with a Welcome to Country ceremony, with highlights including a meeting with the Boards of the Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) in the Western Region, and a cultural site visit to Mutawintji National Park on Thursday. In 1998 Mutawintji was the first National Park to be handed back to traditional owners under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA) of 1983.
The nine elected Councillors each bring with them many decades of collective experience in their communities and beyond, including personal involvement in the years before the proclamation of the ALRA in 1983. The interim NSWALC held its inaugural meeting on June 9, 1983, the day before the proclamation of the Act.
Since that time, it has continued to protect the interests and further the aspirations of its members and the broader Aboriginal community of NSW.
Some of its many achievements include:
- Assisting 120 LALCs to lodge over 52,000 land claims.
- Maintaining and enhancing Aboriginal culture, heritage, and identity through support for cultural events and showcases.
- Democratically representing the interests of over 23,000 LALC members.
- Strongly and effectively advocating on a wide range of political issues affecting Aboriginal peoples across NSW and Australia.
- Embarking on ambitious new era to help Aboriginal peoples overcome challenges in areas such as employment, housing, and culture and heritage.
- Supporting Aboriginal communities through more recent challenges, such as the Black Summer Bush Fires and COVID-19 pandemic.
You can learn more about NSWALC’s history and achievements in culture and heritage, economic development, fishing rights and supporting the excellent work of the 120 LALCs across the state at www.alc.org.au.