Community Picket
Valentines Day Blockade
In response to the misinformation and dubious dealings of Wollongong Council, Sydney Water, DLWC and Stockland Trust Group, the community picket was established by local residents on 3 March 2001. A continual presence is a central tenet of the picket, with members of the community staffing it 24 hours 7 days a week. The picket is supported by the tent embassy (see granting of of permission by SPATE)

The picket was established for a host of reasons including:

  • to provide a place for the community to gather and discuss the issues
  • as an information centre about Kuradji Sandon Point for the community
  • as a visible sign of the widespread community opposition to this development.

The picket is a meeting place and focal point for members of the community. A weekly barbeque is held at the picket on sunday afternoons, and all are welcome to attend. You can contact the picket on 0402 185 906.


In July-August 2002, the community raised funds to place a full page Sovereignty Statement by SPATE in the Wollongong Advertiser.

The text is included below, and the full colour document is available for download in pdf format [29kb]

On 1 March 2003 the local community commemorated 2 years of the community picket.




Re: Max Ackerman South Coast Labor Council
Northern Illawarra Residents' Action Group

To Whom It May Concern,
On behalf of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy we grant the above named persons and their representatives permission to come onto Country to establish and staff a 24 hour-a-day Peaceful Protest Camp.

This camp has been established with the intention of preventing any disturbance to lands within the boundaries of Kuradji.

We support this move and regard the Peaceful Protest camp as an annex to the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy that is situated on the banks of Bugeen Creek at Kuradji.

The coals for the fire at the Peaceful Protest Camp are from Sacred Fires currently burning at Aboriginal Embassy's across Australia. Therefore the fire is subject to the same rules and protocols i.e.; (around the sacred fire, there is to be no lighting of cigarettes, drinking of alcohol, & no spitting).

Yours in Unity,
Dootch (Roy Kennedy) (Spokesperson for SPATE)



Civic leaders representing all levels of government have failed Aboriginal people by allowing the destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage at Kuradji/Sandon Point. We, in the community, must take responsibility and act now to save sacred Aboriginal land

The community says: No Houses!

"We the Sovereign peoples of this land from the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy are reclaiming our sacred traditional areas on behalf of all Aboriginal Nations. Ceremony is in place and will be ongoing until instructed by our elders. We have an obligation to do this for our land, our ancestors, our warriors, our people, our culture, and our future generations. We will put a stop to this cultural genocide and desecration that has been going on since 1788."

                Canberra Aboriginal Tent Embassy (CATE)
                Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE)
                Cockatoo Island Aboriginal Tent Embassy (CIATE)
                Korewal Eloura Jerrunguruh (KEJ)
                Wadi Wadi Aboriginal Corporation (WWAC)
                Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation (CUAC)

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Destroyed
The NSW Government has turned a blind eye to the destruction of Aboriginal heritage at Sandon Point. Stockland, the developer, has been granted a Section 90 Consent to Destroy Aboriginal Cultural Heritage by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. This and the development it allows is destroying a 4000 year old Tool-making Site, and ceremonial gathering place. It will also cut access, via an ancient Dreaming Track, to the 6000-year-old sacred burial site of a 'clever fella' (Kuradji), which in turn will be desecrated by the proximity of the intended housing development.

Aboriginal people denied appropriate consultation
Stockland, Wollongong City Council, and National Parks and Wildlife Service have failed to adequately engage local Aboriginal people in decisions made on this development. Local Aboriginal people were denied an opportunity to adequately assess their own cultural heritage, and as a consequence, the full cultural value of the site is not appreciated. This is in direct contravention to the requirements of the full heritage study recommended to Wollongong City Council. It also contravenes internationally agreed heritage and Indigenous rights principles, which are the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Real consultation would have placed control of all cultural heritage matters in the hands of local indigenous authorities

Respect for the vision of Guboo
Senior Yuin Lawman, Uncle 'Guboo' Ted Thomas, at 93 years of age, joined the February community blockade in his wheelchair, to oppose the start of work on the site. In the words of Senator Aden Ridgeway: " Guboo symbolizes all of the struggles for Indigenous people about a need to sustain a connection back to the Dreaming. Most of all he showed us the way to protect, nurture and feel something about these things that inspire and give sustenance to the idea of the Dreaming, and what it means to be able to protect them in the contemporary world."

Until Australian governments, at all levels, respect the wisdom of the Elders and Lawmen of our senior cultural partners, on matters of their own culture, the hope for the reconciliation embodied in these words, and the events which engendered them, will not be reflected in the broader Australian community.

For over 200 years Australian Governments, have participated in, or allowed acts of Genocide against Aboriginal People. Despite much talk of Reconciliation, Cultural Genocide is occurring right now at Kuradji/Sandon Point.

Tent Embassy protects the spirit of the Land
The collective struggle of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and local Indigenous Elders is an expression of the living and dynamic nature of local indigenous culture, which exists to protect the physical and spiritual integrity of these sacred and special places.

We must support them now, or the spiritual tenor of this sacred and beautiful place, will be tragically degraded by this environmental and urban planning nightmare We, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, wholeheartedly support those Indigenous people making a stand for their rights and culture at Kuradji/Sandon Point. We call on all three levels of government, local, state and federal, to honour the responsibilities of their offices and intervene immediately to stop the violation of indigenous rights inherent in this development.

We support the Joint Statement of Claim made by representatives of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Canberra Tent Embassy.

[download the pdf version 29kb]