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‘Culturally inappropriate’ meeting in Mullumbimby not supported by Byron Council, Arakwal Corporation and Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council

Byron Shire Council has joined the Arakwal Corporation and the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council (LAC) to ask for a meeting planned at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Tuesday, 12 December 2017, to be cancelled.

Councillor Sarah Ndiaye, Chair of the Arakwal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Committee, said the gathering, which is promoted as an event to save an apparent men’s initiation site referred to as the ‘Standing Stones’, is culturally inappropriate and insensitive.

“This event is not endorsed, supported or sanctioned by the Aboriginal custodians of the area,” Cr Ndiaye said. 

“There are strict protocols within the Indigenous community with respect to organising cultural events and not only have the organisers of the community gathering at Mullumbimby not contacted our local Aboriginal custodians, but the Tweed Byron LAC and the Arakwal Corporation are completely opposed to the meeting,” she said.

“They describe the claims about the ‘Standing Stones’ as completely false and misleading and attempts to correct the information being peddled by the organisers have been ignored.

“The Byron Shire Council is proud of the strong links it has to the local Indigenous community which contributes an enormous amount to the cultural and social fabric of our community,” Cr Ndiaye said.

Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, asked people who are considering attending this event to take into account the fact it is seen as culturally inappropriate and not supported by Indigenous community leaders and organisations in the Byron Shire.

“The meeting is being held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall, a Council-owned and operated venue which is available for public hire, and whilst Council supports the rights of free speech, Council stands alongside our local custodians in both not supporting the event and urging organisers to respect the opinions of local Indigenous leaders, " Mayor Richardson said.

For more information contact Byron Shire Councillor Sarah Ndiaye on 0432 389 353 or Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson on 0427 076 834.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.