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Historic agreement boosts reconciliation in Sydney

Media Statement from Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council on the signing of Principles of Cooperation between the land Council and the City of Sydney Council.

Reconciliation in Sydney received a boost today with the signing of an historic agreement between the Sydney City Council and Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council.

The principles of cooperation agreement establishes formal communication, consultation and negotiation processes between Metro and the City of Sydney.

It also opens the way for possible future projects to improve employment, education and training opportunities for Aboriginal people, including tourism management.

Metro Land Council Chairman, Rob Welsh, said he was confident the agreement would promote a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and history in Australia’s largest city.

“This agreement builds on what is already a strong, positive relationship between Metro and the City of Sydney,” Mr Welsh said.

Mr Welsh said the agreement was particularly important given the significance of Redfern to Aboriginal people.

“Despite the creation of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, the Sydney City Council still has responsibility for large parts of our suburb of Redfern,” Mr Welsh said.

“We want to work with the City Council to help make Redfern once again a site of Aboriginal hope and achievement.”

Mr Welsh said he hoped Redfern’s distinctive Aboriginal identity could one day attract international tourists and people from all over Sydney to visit the suburb.

“Like Harlem in New York and Brixton in London, what was once the scene of a race riot could become the most dynamic part of the city,” he said.

Mr Welsh said he hoped to pursue similar cooperative agreements with the State and Federal governments to benefit the Aboriginal community of inner city Sydney.