Founded in 2000, the Reconciliation Network: Northern Sydney Region (RNNSR) comprises representatives of Northern Sydney Reconciliation organisations including LRGs, plus Indigenous Services & Networks and Local Governments & Community Support Groups. RNNSR provides a forum for members and guests to meet together to discuss and act on matters related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, to social justice and the truth-telling of Australian history. RNNSR appreciates the partnership and support of all nine Northern Sydney Local Councils and for their hosting on a rotational basis, of our five annual meetings.
‘A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage; and provides justice and equity for all.’
Local Government on the Northern Beaches has made important progress on reconciliation. (Each of the past Councils (Manly, Warringah and Pittwater) had a sound Reconciliation statement, each acknowledged country at public events, and each flew the Aboriginal flag as a sign of respect toward the traditional custodians of the land.
In conjunction with other North Shore Councils, the then Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils supported the then Northern Sydney Aboriginal Social Plan and the employment of an Aboriginal Project Officer to coordinate its implementation. Susan Moylan Coombs was the then Officer. Also in partnership with other North Shore Councils, Warringah and Manly employed an Aboriginal Heritage Manager to look after the management of Aboriginal sites in their areas, as well as working closely with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) on a number of land management and heritage issues in the area (see Questions 2 & 6, above).
Local government has supported the celebration of NAIDOC and Reconciliation Weeks since the early 1990s, and have helped cultivate development of the Guringai Festival, held between 26 May and mid-July every year. In the Manly and Warringah area there are have plaques acknowledging the Guringai traditional custodian’s of this land, and all the then three Councils supported the Aboriginal history project that resulted in publication of Emma Lee’s The Tale of a Whale: Significant Aboriginal Landscapes of the Northern Beaches.
The then Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils supported reconciliation in both substantive and symbolic ways, and their participation at a local level has been crucial in raising the profile of Aboriginal issues on the Peninsula.
For a summary of the specific reconciliation initiatives of our Northern Beaches Councils, see Aboriginal Support Group – Manly Warringah Pittwater, A Story to Tell…On a Road Toward Reconciliation: 1979-2000: An Account of the First Twenty-One Years of Life and Work of the Aboriginal Support Group – Manly Warringah Pittwater, Narrabeen, ASG-MWP, 2002 can be obtained at the ASG meetings.