NARRABRI will host the 2018 Local Government Network Aboriginal Conference, calling it a “great honour” to have been selected.
This conference will attract about 200 delegates to the shire next September 2018, allowing it to showcase the local region and Indigenous culture.
This will be the 30th event, which is a forum for information and discussion on local government issues relating to Aboriginal communities, business and the wider community, while celebrating culture, heritage, art and music.
Crossing Theatre manager Trent Bruinsma said the council had started working with local Indigenous people to set up a committee that will help to develop “an authentic and interesting program” for delegates.
“As well as gathering local support, staff have been working to secure nationally recognised key note speakers to inspire and create a conversation among delegates,” he said.
“[It] will be a great honour to host such an important conference in 2018, especially in its 30th year.”
Narrabri shire mayor Cathy Redding, who recently returned from the 2017 conference in Albury, said it was “an important opportunity to share ideas and motivate change within the local government community”.
“At the conference we were handed the message stick by the Albury hosts,” Cr Redding said.
“This message stick is to give the host-council connection with the conference and is added to the journey and story of the Local Government Aboriginal Network.
“This message stick will be displayed in the council chambers until the conference next year, to show council’s commitment to the local Aboriginal community.”
Cr Redding said hosting was also a great way to showcase the community, and visits to tourist attractions were high on the agenda for the program.
“Many of the delegates in Albury expressed their excitement about visiting Narrabri shire to see our attractions and also visit friends and relatives from the local area,” she said.
Council saw hosting the conference as a way to further strengthen its ties with the local Indigenous community.
“In 2015, council adopted a reconciliation action plan to create meaningful relationships, enhance respect and promote sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Cr Redding said.
“This conference will further increase opportunities and the visibility of the local Indigenous population and provides not only delegates but the entire community an opportunity to gain a better understanding of our local Indigenous culture.”