Aboriginal Community

Inner West Council acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodian of this land. 

We acknowledge this is a country of which the members and Elders of the local Aboriginal communities have been custodians for many centuries, and on which these people have performed age-old ceremonies.

We acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this region.

The traditional Aboriginal groups of the Inner West Council area are the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation.

Traditional custodians

There are many different language groups within the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The traditional Aboriginal groups of the Inner West Council area are the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation.

Gadigal people

Although exact boundaries cannot be determined, it is believed the Gadigal clan stretched along the south side of Port Jackson from South Head to about Petersham.

Wangal people

The Wangal people were believed to have occupied the area along the southern shore of the Parramatta River, from about Petersham to about Rosehill.

How to acknowledge the traditional custodians

There are two ways in which you can acknowledge the Aboriginal traditional custodians of the Inner West Council area.

Welcome to Country

The first is by employing the services of an Aboriginal Elder to perform a “Welcome to Country”. A Welcome to Country can only be given by an Elder of the local Aboriginal community, unless permission is given to another member of that community.

An Elder generally is a Aboriginal person who has the cultural knowledge of their people, either traditional or contemporary knowledge, and has the respect of their community. To make contact with an appropriate Elder, contact Council’s Aboriginal Community Staff or the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Acknowledgement of Country

The other way to acknowledge Aboriginal traditional custodians is by performing an “Acknowledgement of Country”. An Acknowledgement of Country can be performed by any non-Aboriginal person or any Aboriginal person who is not originally from that area. Two basic points about an Acknowledgement of Country is to ensure that you acknowledge the Aboriginal clan and/or country for where you are meeting and to acknowledge the descendents of those people who are still with us today.

Our vision for reconciliation

Inner West Council is committed to Reconciliation always ensuring that the process is based on respect, trust and a spirit of openness.

We acknowledge and accept that our community is made up of many different people from all spheres of life who have made the area their home and bring with them their own uniqueness.

Building relationships with the local Aboriginal community enhances the living experience of our residents, businesses and general community members, and promotes Reconciliation through better understanding

Eastern Region Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum (ERLGATSIF)

ERLGATSIF is a partnership between Bayside Council, City of Sydney, Inner West Council, Randwick City Council, Waverley Council and Woollahra Municipal Council.  It supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the region and is committed to Reconciliation.

ERLGATSIF has bimonthly meetings to discuss affairs, events and celebrations that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across our region. ERLGATSIF members are active in the community, participating in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events and programs.

During Reconciliation Week each year, ERLGATSIF coordinates the Pauline McLeod Awards

 If you have any questions, queries and feedback regarding ERLGATSIF please feel free to contact Inner West Council ERLGATSIF Coordinator.

Indigenous events


Pauline McLeod Awards for Reconciliation

Aboriginal heritage

Some Aboriginal sites within Inner West Council area include:

Two areas at Callan Point within the grounds of Rozelle Hospital, and at Yurulbin Point, parts of the municipality's natural shoreline that have remained largely undisturbed.

Evidence of whatever other sites existed has been destroyed by extensive reclamation of the shoreline and development.

There are five sites at Callan Point. These are shell middens in sheltered areas close to the water's edge where groups camped or stopped for a meal.

These middens, like other sites in Port Jackson, contain rock oysters, cockles, mussels and Terrebralia shells, have been dated at about 4,500 years old.

There are other sites on private land. Two are midden sites located under rock overhangs, and the other is an art site with hand stencils and a charcoal outline of a shark.


Reconciliation Statement – Former Leichhardt (PDF 372.7KB)

Principles of Cooperation – Former Leichhardt
Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal Australians - Former Marrickville

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Booklet – Former Ashfield  (PDF 681KB)

Aboriginal Cultural Protocols – Former Marrickville (PDF 313.8KB)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols – Former Leichhardt (PDF 1.3MB)
Aboriginal Capacity Building Project Resource Manual – Former Marrickville  (PDF 1.4MB)

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Page last updated: 01 Apr 2020