Sandon Point Aboriginal Place will be managed by Wollongong City Council and indigenous groups

Heritage: A smoking ceremony held at the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy during its ten-year anniversary celebration in 2010. Picture: Adam McLean
Heritage: A smoking ceremony held at the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy during its ten-year anniversary celebration in 2010. Picture: Adam McLean

A formal agreement between five Aboriginal groups and Wollongong City Council for joint management of Sandon Point is complete.

Councillor Janice Kershaw told Monday night’s meeting that after four years, agreement had been reached.

Cr Kershaw wanted to vote on development of a “purpose built facility” on the land, which would have an “educational and oversight role” to manage the Aboriginal heritage values of the site.

“This would eventually enable the embassy to move into a purpose built facility, to continue its highly respected role honouring the custodians of the site, and protect this highly significant Aboriginal place for future generations,” she said. ”It’s  a declared Aboriginal place and we’re fortunate to have such a site within this city.”

But Cr George Takacs said making such a decision would go against the spirit of joint management.

“I think we’ve really got to respect the Aboriginal community here and let them determine how they think they can best manage that land to benefit their community, and perhaps communicate with the rest of us what Aboriginal culture is all about and what they want to do with that land,” he said.

“We shouldn’t try to pushing them in any direction at all. When we do that we’re sort of imposing ... our values and our desires, on them.”

Council agreed to consult with the five groups over the purpose-built centre idea.

There was no plan for of the fate of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at the site.