Media Release: NSW Council Elections

7 July 2017

NAIDOC WEEK CALL FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLES TO STAND FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are being urged to nominate to become councillors at the upcoming NSW council elections and shape local government to better reflect their communities.
 
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and the Office of Local Government (OLG) have joined forces in a campaign to strengthen NSW communities by boosting Aboriginal representation in local government. 
 
LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said the proportion of Aboriginal local government councillors falls short of the 2.5 per cent in the NSW population and as a result, we are failing to unlock important cultural, social and economic contributions.
 
“Our society is stronger when local councils accurately reflect the diversity of local communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” said Cr Rhoades.
 
“Greater participation of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in local government has significant benefits - to enhance the delivery of services, infrastructure and programs for the community,” said Cr Rhoades.
 
Dominic (Darugland Boondi Boondi) Wy Kanak has been a councillor with Waverley Council since September 1999. Co-Chairperson of its Multicultural Advisory Committee and the Mayor's Nominee and Chairman of the Eastern Region Local Government Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Forum, he is also a member of the Management Committee for the NSW Reconciliation Council.
 
“We need more First Nation Aboriginal Islander councillors to help look after local country and local people, similar to our traditional responsibilities as Indigenous custodians for our planet,” said Cr Wy Kanak.
 
Elections will be held for 46 NSW councils in September with nominations open only for a short time (31 July – 9 August 2017). 
 
“Now is the time to act: access support resources; talk with family, friends and members of the community; and if you feel passionate about having a say in decisions, nominate to stand for your community,” said Cr Rhoades.
 
As an elected Aboriginal councillor, you can:
 
  • Give your community a voice in government at a local level
     
  • Educate other councillors and the wider community about important issues
     
  • Protect and enhance your country and culture
     
  • Develop your leadership skills and encourage other Aboriginal people – especially young people – to get involved
     
  • Help your council work with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other Aboriginal organisations.
 
 “The opportunity for Aboriginal peoples to stand and be the voice for your people is available with the upcoming elections. It’s time to have a say,” said Cr Rhoades.
 
Media Enquiries
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades: 0408 256 405
Clr Dominic Wy-Kanak: 0499 291 333
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441