National Elders Council

Media Release
August 06, 2006

Aboriginal Government of Elders formed

The formation of a National Elders Council reached another milestone today with the announcement of the Aboriginal Government of Elders (AGE) NSW.

This watershed moment took place at the third of a series of meetings convened by the NSW Working Group to bring Aunty Marjorie Woodrow and Uncle Les Ridgeway’s dream of a National Elders Council into being.

AGE represents concerned Aboriginal people who have a wealth of knowledge and whose aim first and foremost is to strengthen Aboriginal communities. Guided by elected Aboriginal directors, AGE will focus on issues that are important to Aboriginal people. AGE will also continue to work with other state and regional Elders groups to continue to develop the national body.

The weekend meeting, hosted by Awabakal elders at Yulawirri Nurai’s Yula-Punaal Indigenous Healing Sanctuary at Mandalong, also elected an interim committee.

‘This is an interim group that will get out into the NSW community to talk about important issues about how we operate and convene a state gathering,’ said Interim Chairperson, Pat Lock.

The meeting reiterated that AGE will be accountable and requires participation from all Aboriginal people in NSW. It will succeed by being inclusive and looking towards traditional ways of operating.

‘We will be judged on what we do and what we say. As a group, we want to give guiding leadership to our people,’ said Pat Lock.

One issue that is very important to Aboriginal people in NSW right now is the review of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

‘We are very concerned that the proposed changes to the NSW Land Rights Act will change the actual intent of the Act, particularly as to the direct election of the State Committee,’ said Pat Lock.

‘We encourage everyone to review their membership and enrolment with their Local Land Council. You need to find out how to enroll and do it quickly as the rolls will close soon in preparation for next year’s election.’

Media contact:

Aunty Marjorie Woodrow on 4394 0662.

For more information about the Aboriginal Government of Elders NSW contact:

Pat Lock

Interim Chairperson
Aboriginal Government of Elders (AGE) NSW
PO Box 5116 BC

For information about the National Elders Council Working Party, please contact:

(NSW) Lois Towney on 0418 222 991

(SA) Janine Haynes, Executive Officer

Council of Aboriginal Elders of South Australia on 08 8367 0783 or post to50-60 Sussex Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006.


Aboriginal Government of Elders NSW

Yula-Punaal Indigenous Healing Sanctuary
Awabakal Country, Mandalong, NSW

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