Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Aboriginal community

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Aboriginal community

There many different groups within the Australian Aboriginal community. The traditional Aboriginal Groups of inner Sydney/Marrickville region are the Cadigal Wangal clans of the Eora nation.

Cadigal land lies south of Port Jackson and stretches from South Head to Petersham with part of the southern boundary lying on the Cooks River. On the western border lies the territory of the Wangal clan, which extends along the southern shore of the Parramatta River to Parramatta.

Suburbs close to the city such as Glebe are also the home of the Cadigal and Wangal ancestors, and the surrounding bushland was rich in plant, bird and animal life with fish and rock oysters available from Blackwattle Bay.

Aboriginal communities in the Inner West region are part of a thriving metropolitan area, forming an important part of Sydney's cultural and spiritual mosaic.

Celebrating 50 years of Aboriginal campaigning

2007's NAIDOC Week celebrations commemorated the 50th anniversary of NAIDOC with the theme 50 Years: Looking Forward, Looking Blak, and also remembered the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, which increased equal rights for Aboriginal people.

Though the Committee originally formed in 1957 as National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC), campaigns to bring Aboriginal issues of concern to the attention of governments and the general public have been held since the 1920s.

Marrickville Council has long valued the contribution its Aboriginal community makes to the rich diversity of the area. In 1994 it formed the Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee to advise Council on the needs of Aboriginal people living in the Marrickville area.

During the 1996 NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Commemoration) Week celebrations, Council made an official commitment (hidden) to Aboriginal Australians by formally acknowledging prior ownership of this area by the Cadigal people.

In demonstration of this commitment Council has for many years supported the Inner West Aboriginal Community Company providing funding to organise a series of events for the Marrickville Community to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal Australians

Marrickville Council acknowledges the prior ownership of this area by the Cadigal people who were dispossessed by European invasion more than two hundred years ago.

We celebrate the survival of Aboriginal people and their culture following the devastating impact of European invasion and support their right to determine their own future.

We recognise the right of Aboriginal people to live according to their own values and culture.  We accept our responsibility to develop an awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal history and society in our community and to protect and preserve the environment and significant and sacred sites.

In doing so we acknowledge that Aboriginal culture continues to strengthen and enrich our community.

The Marrickville area is now occupied by people drawn from many different lands who share the values of tolerance of and respect for one another.

We encourage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to work to overcome their differences and continue to go forward together.

Supporting our Aboriginal community


  • 1994 - Marrickvile Aboriginal Consultative Committee (MACC) formed
  • 1996 - Marrickville Council signs commitment to Aboriginal Australians
  • 1998 - Aboriginal Youth Council convened by Marrickville and Leichhardt councils
  • 2000 - After years of lobbying by the MACC, the Inner West Aboriginal Community Company opens in Marrickville
  • 2001 - Marrickville Council creates position of Aboriginal Liaison Officer
  • 2002 - Cadigal Wangal website created in partnership with Council
  • 2004 - Traditional Smoking Ceremony in Council Chambers the acknowledge the start of the new term of Council
  • 2004 - 10th anniversary of MACC celebrated
  • 2005 - Gift Given mural by Aboriginal artist Bronwyn Bancroft painted on Robyn Webster Sports Centre at Tempe (largest mural in southern hemisphere)
  • 2006 - Marrickville Aboriginal Cultural Protocols adopted by Council
  • 2007 - Commitment to Aboriginal Australians to be recommitted by Council following each local government election

Marrickville's Aboriginal Cultural Protocols

Marrickville's Aboriginal Cultural Protocols were developed by the Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee and endorsed by Council. They are a companion document to Council's Commitment to Aboriginal Australians and tell us how to put that commitment into action.

Cultural Protocols are suggested rules or guidelines. A protocol tells us how to treat and work with people in a respectful and useful way, ensuring that local community views are incorporated into decision-making processes.

The Marrickville Aboriginal Cultural Protocols have been written as a guide to help Council to understand how to consult, who to talk to, what role Elders have, what is meant by Men's and Women's Business, how important it is to recognise that Aboriginal people are the traditional owners of the land and what some of the important ceremonies are.