Council to create Aboriginal Survival Memorials

                                                           Thursday, 13 December 2018

Council has voted to erect three Aboriginal Survival Memorials in the Inner West to commemorate the story of the Aboriginal peoples’ survival through the colonisation of this country. 

Earlier this year, Council adopted a Mayoral Minute initiating consultation with the First Nations Peoples and the wider community on whether a Frontier War Memorial was the most appropriate way to recognise Aboriginal dispossession in the Inner West and Australia more broadly.

As a result of that consultation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community proposed a series of Survival Memorials, with a focus on the resilience of the community, which Council is now progressing.

“The Inner West is rightfully proud of its Indigenous history, but we need to do much acknowledge it. These prominent local memorials will help us to learn from the incredible resilience and survival of Indigenous Australians,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.

“These works of art will serve as a powerful, public recognition of the heroic story of Aboriginal people’s survival.

“For First Nations People, colonisation represents the beginning of invasion, dispossession, disease, the stealing of children and the deliberate elimination of language and culture.

“These are historical acts, but they have very real contemporary consequences. It's time to do more to bring about reconciliation in our own backyard,” he said

Council’s Survival Memorials will build on a series of actions aimed at delivering greater justice for Aboriginal people in the Inner West, including:

  • Becoming the first government in Australia to raise the Australian South Sea Islander Flag, which flew over Petersham Town Hall on August 24.
  • Rolling out a pilot program at Tillman Park Early Learning Centre, Globe Preschool and May Murray Early Learning Centre to teach children Aboriginal language and culture through song, storytelling and the environment.
  • Engaging with the community about how to make 26 January a more respectful and inclusive day for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  • Renaming all five wards within the Inner West’s Local Government Area to include the following Aboriginal names:
  1. Ashfield Ward – Djarrawunang (Magpie)
  2. Balmain Ward – Baludarri (Leather Jacket)
  3. Leichhardt Ward – Gulgadya (Grass Tree)
  4. Marrickville Ward – Midjuburi (Lillypilly)
  5. Stanmore Ward – Damun (Port Jackson Fig)

For further information, please contact John Roper on

Pic credit: Canoe People by Amanda Feher and Billy Doolan

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Page last updated: 16 Apr 2019