About us

Collaborate NSW is a website and printable toolkit created by Local Government NSW and the NSW Office of Local Government to encourage the inclusion of Aboriginal communities in council decision-making, service development and delivery.

Artist Bibi Barba’s circle-centred design ‘Gathering of Berries’ represents gathering of knowledge with tribes coming together – a strong graphic lead for Collaborate NSW. The small circles represent the berries that are offered to the gathering in return for knowledge. Knowledge is the key for survival.

We need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on councils. The most effective councils truly reflect the people they represent – by gender, age and ethnic identity. But in NSW, just 1.9% of the councillors elected in the most recent 2012 local government elections identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, compared to 2.5% of the population.

Local councils have important roles and responsibilities regarding Aboriginal peoples and Collaborate NSW provides guidance to assist staff and councillors to meet those responsibilities.

Have your say

If you have a query or suggestion about this resource, contact Local Government NSW by emailing lgnsw@lgnsw.org.au or call 02 9242 4000.

Bibi Barba was born in Roma, Queensland, and raised in Liverpool, Sydney, Australia. Her family descends from the Durumal (North Queensland), Birri-Gubba (Central Queensland) and Dangadi tribes (East Coast NSW). Inspired by her Grandmother’s storytelling and her love of the land, Bibi’s artwork has a sense of vivid storytelling, melding traditional indigenous design with contemporary style and innovative colour combinations.

“My designs and art works have many stories to tell, passed down from generation to generation. My art captures and nurture my grandmother’s stories of long ago, vibrate Songlines of childhood memories passed down from birth. My inspiration come from a family of strong women that encapsulated the essence of culture through the blood line. My grandmother is a very strong women and would often say ‘feel your country, feel it, paint it’. My mother cherishes those stories to enable me and my family to build on the foundation of culture because art is the tool to create many possibilities and cross cultural boundaries.”

The story “Gathering of Berries” was passed down from her father, a Dunghutti man.