Council Administrator’s Column: The life and work of William Ferguson

The life and work of William Ferguson

I recently attended a brilliant lecture at Charles Sturt University about the work of local Indigenous politician and Indigenous rights campaigner William Ferguson.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Dubbo Regional Council Administrator Michael Kneipp with the new citizens.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Dubbo Regional Council Administrator Michael Kneipp with the new citizens.

Presented by former Senator Aden Ridgeway, who became only the second indigenous person to enter federal politics, the lecture outlined the contributions Bill Ferguson and other Indigenous leaders made to the cause of justice for their people. In many ways, their work paved the way for the success of the 1967 referendum and the benefits that have flowed to Indigenous Australians.

It was fascinating to hear about William Ferguson’s work creating the Aboriginal Progressive Association in 1937 in Dubbo and his fight for rights and justice for his people.

The lecture was part of CSU’s Exploration Series and was held as part of National Reconciliation Week. It coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the historic Mabo High Court decision. This lecture was an engaging look at one of Dubbo’s leading figures. Congratulations to CSU and I would encourage everyone to learn more about William Ferguson and his work.

Community Strategic Plan

Council wants to hear from you about the future of our community so let us know your ideas about what the long-term priorities for the region should be.

Council is asking the community about what the future of the region in terms of liveability, economy, infrastructure, housing and the environment all of which will inform the 2014 Community Strategic Plan.

The 2040 Community Strategic Plan will be Council’s overarching document from which major capital works, long-term actions and annual priorities to make the local area a great place to live, work and play are established.

A new draft 2040 Community Strategic Plan will build on the Plans of the two former Councils, which were Dubbo 2036 and Wellington 2025, and will make sure residents’ thoughts and ideas are heard.

We are asking the community of Dubbo, Wellington and the local region to participate in the development of the draft Plan through a variety of community workshops, group meetings, surveys and public comment.

There are so many ways to get involved and contribute to the Community Strategic Plan.

An open invitation is being extended for anyone to attend summits in Dubbo and Wellington on June 17 and 18 and July 1 and 2.  There will also be more specific focus groups with a variety of community representatives as well as questionnaires and surveys available through Council’s website at

Welcome to new Citizens

I was pleased to welcome 27 new Australian citizens last week along with Parkes MP Mark Coulton. The group were conferred in a ceremony at the Dubbo Regional Council. The diverse group included people from Bangladesh, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Republic of Ireland, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Attracting such a diverse group to the region is just wonderful and goes to show how much the region has to offer people and conversely, what these people have to offer the region.

Local Government Elections

The Local Government Elections will happen on 9 September, 2017. Right now the most important thing is for you to check your enrolment, particularly now that Council's voting boundaries are divided into wards. Make sure your enrolment is up to date at or call the Electoral Commission of NSW on 1300 135 736.

This story Council Administrator’s Column first appeared on Daily Liberal.