Karreenga Aboriginal Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

The Karreenga Aboriginal Advisory Committee Document No: CTR300.3
Approval Date: 28 February 2017
Approved By: Council
Review Date: 28 February 2019
Responsible Officer: General Manager Community Life Version No: Version 01
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer

1. Preamble

1.1 Acknowledgment

Welcome to the land of the Wadawurrung people, the Traditional Owners of this land.

1.2 Words for Acknowledgement to Country:

Council acknowledges Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.


1.3     Commitment

City of Greater Geelong is committed to ensuring effective implementation of the Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan through collaboration, communication and positive relationships.


2. Objectives

The purpose of the Karreenga Aboriginal Advisory Committee (“Advisory Committee”) is to:

  • 2.1 Provide a forum for on-going conversation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and City of Greater Geelong across a broad range of topics such as health, housing, legal, sport, recreation, employment, culture, heritage, environment, training and childcare.

  • 2.2 Provide Council with information and advice regarding issues pertinent to the Wadawurrung people and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People living in Geelong, including issues pertaining to social justice and cultural safety.

  • 2.3 Assist Council to identify its on-going role in regards to aspirations of and issues affecting local Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander People, including education of the non-Aboriginal community.

3. Terms of Reference

In order to achieve the above objectives, the Advisory Committee members commit to the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Enable effective communication, consultation and information sharing between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the City of Greater Geelong;

  • Undertake a two way feedback, sharing and promoting the actions and deliberations of the Advisory Committee with their relevant organisations and bringing priorities to the attention of the Advisory Committee.

  • Provide advice to Council on Aboriginal Australian community issues and aspirations;

  • Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community participation in municipal affairs;

  • Support processes that engage all community members and build collaborative and positive relationships;

  • Build cross government / organisation working arrangements, relationships and joint approaches.

  • Build on and support local actions being undertaken by other members of the Advisory Committee; and

  • Identify challenges to the implementation of the Action Plan.

3.1 Chairperson Duties And Responsibilities

  • Formally declare the meeting open, after ascertaining that a quorum is present, welcome guest speakers and other visitors.

  • Preside over and facilitate the meeting, and to conduct it impartially and according to the Terms of Reference to ensure the smooth passage of business.

  • Ensure that debates are conducted in a respectful, collaborative and culturally appropriate way.

  • Declare the results of all votes.

  • Adjourn (when so resolved) or formally declare the meeting closed when all business has been concluded.

3.2 Co-Chair Duties And Responsibilities

A Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee will be elected from the Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan Statement of Intent partners. This position will be rotated on an annual basis. Co-Chair will:

  • Have the same roles and responsibilities as per 3.1 above, to act as a Chair when the Chair is not present at the meeting.

  • Chair every alternative meeting of the Advisory Committee.

  • At the direction of the Committee, the Co-Chair, chair/facilitate a working group.

4. Definitions

CoGG – City of Greater Geelong

Karreenga - means “to grow”

The Action Plan – The Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan 2014 – 2017.

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative (WAC) – provides culturally secure services to the Aboriginal community in Geelong

Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation – Registered Aboriginal party under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Wadawurrung – Traditional Owners

5. Committee Operations 

5.1 Constituency of the Committee

The Advisory Committee will consist of 13 voting members including Council representatives.

Section 3 (c) of the Local Government Act 1989 outlines the Objectives of Council including:

  • (2)(c) to improve the overall quality of life of people in the local community;

  • (d) to promote appropriate business and employment opportunities;

  • (e) to ensure that services and facilities provided by the Council are accessible and equitable;

Section 3 (d) of the Local Government Act outlines the role of Council which includes:

  • (2)(e) acting as a responsible partner in government by taking into account the needs of other communities;

To this end the City of Greater Geelong will seek to involve individuals and organisations based on expertise and understanding of the aspirations and issues affecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Representation to the Committee includes:

  • (1 Councillor) Chair – Cr Portfolio Holder

  • (1 Officer) General Manager Community Life

  • (1 member) Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation (Wadawurrung)

  • (1 member) Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative

  • (2 members) Aboriginal residents of Greater Geelong (position filled through expression of interest or co-option)

  • (1 member) non Aboriginal resident of Greater Geelong (position filled through expression of interest or co-option)

  • (3 members) one (1) member per Geelong region organisation, of which two members (2) must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander People. Examples of organisations: Narana Creations, Deakin/Gordon TAFE, University Hospital Geelong (Barwon Health), Western Victoria Primary Health Network Ltd, Department of Education or other relevant State Government agency and the Geelong Football Club.

  • (1 member) Representative from a non-Aboriginal community Group

  • (2 members) Aboriginal Young Persons

  • Ex-officio members of the Committee are Manager Community Development or delegate and Community Development Officer (both ex-officio, non-voting).

Term of Appointment

Membership / representation of the Karreenga Aboriginal Advisory Committee is a minimum of one year or until members no longer hold the position on which their membership is based.

Should a vacancy arise during the term of office, Council has the right to choose the new member.

5.2 Authority of the Committee

  • The Committee is an Advisory Committee for the purposes of the Local Government Act, therefore does not have delegated authority, and reports to Council as required.

  • The Committee may appoint working groups to pursue specific projects and issues as appropriate, on the basis of specific interest.

  • The Committee has no financial delegation authority.

5.3 Numbers constituting a quorum – Six members

  • Committee Chair or nominee and five (5) members, (not including Council officers or Councillors) and consisting of at least 50% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander members, shall constitute a quorum.

  • A quorum is six (6) members, (minimum three (3) Aboriginal members).

  • If less than six members attend, the meeting may proceed but no decision can be made.

5.4 Meeting Procedure

  • The Committee will meet on a quarterly basis, subject to the discretion of the Committee.

  • Quorum of the meeting shall be one more than half of the attending committee members.

  • A meeting of the Committee will not be called with less than two weeks notice of all members, unless exceptional circumstances exist.

  • The Committee to appoint the Co-Chair at it’s first meeting.

  • All discussions, decisions and subsequent actions will be recorded.

  • Minutes and Agenda’s will be circulated prior to the meeting (1 week or earlier).

  • An assembly of Councillors return must be completed and submitted to the Governance Unit after each meeting.

  • Working group meetings maybe called by the Committee.

5.4 Evaluation

  • The Committee will review its objectives, activities and participation annually.

  • A copy of this review will be forwarded to Council at the same time as the annual reporting of the Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan.

5.5 Matters constituting conflicts of interest and confidentiality

  • If a Committee member determines that they have a Conflict of Interest in any matter which is to be considered at a meeting of the Committee then that person must:

    • If he or she intends to be present at the meeting, disclose the nature of the interest immediately before the consideration or discussion ; or

  • While any vote or discussion is taken on the subject matter the Member must:

    • Leave the room and notify the Chairperson that he or she is doing so; and

    • Remain outside the room and any gallery or other area in view or hearing of the room.

  • The Minute taker must record the declaration and the nature of the interest in the minutes of the meeting.

5.6 Reporting Requirements

  • The Committee shall report to Council through the appointed Councillor and Co-Chair as deemed necessary for the purpose of information sharing.

  • Circulate minutes of meetings.

  • Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People / non-Aboriginal organisations directly.

5.7 Secretariat

  • The City of Greater Geelong will support the Committee and provide secretariat support.

5.8 Facilities & Resources

  • The Committee shall not be directly funded. The City of Greater Geelong will provide administrative support.

6. Historical Context - Wadawurrung

Wadawurrung language groups tribal territory extend from the head waters of the Wirribi-yaluk (Werribee River) to the Port Phillip Bay, down to the Balla-wein (Bellarine Peninsula), along the Surfcoast to the Otway forests, north west to Walart (Winchelsea), north to Larngipigan (Shelford) then west to Derrinalum (Mount Elephant), north along Barringa-yaluk (Fiery Creek) to the Great Diving range, encompassing both Ballaarat (Ballarat) and Djilang (Geelong).

Their lands included woodlands of the Otway Ranges, ocean and bay coasts, grasslands, lakes and wetlands of the volcanic plains, and woodlands of the central Victorian dividing range. They are one of the five peoples of the Kulin Nation, which also includes the Bun Wurrung (of Port Phillip and lands east thereof), the Woi Wurrung (of Melbourne and the plain north thereof), the Daung Wurrung (central-east Victoria) and the Djadja Wurrung (central Victoria).

At the time of settlement the Wadawurrung were a powerful and populous tribe that included at least twenty- five clans occupying a territory of 120 by 150 kilometres.

The Wadawurrung people have lived within these regions for more than 25,000 years.

Aboriginal people all over Australia have moved through Wadawurrung country.

7. Aboriginal Service Providers - Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative formed in 1979 provides culturally appropriate health, educational, aged, disabled housing and cultural services that are based on evidence based practice consistent with Aboriginal cultural practices.

This is provided to members and Aboriginal people living (or in transit) the service delivery and surrounding areas of Wathaurong’s traditional boundaries with assistance and increased and improved access to a range of culturally appropriate health, housing, educational, employment and cultural services that contributes to improvements in community well being and achieve self determination.

8. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.

Record Retention/Disposal Responsibility Retention Period Location
Meeting minutes/Agendas Committee PROV EDRMS
Correspondence Committee PROV EDRMS
Submissions Committee PROV EDRMS

9. Attachments

  • City of Greater Geelong - Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan 2014-2017

  • The Council adopted Statement on Recognition and Commitment dated 9th June 2009

Page last updated: Friday, 1 February 2019