We have detected that you are running an unsupported version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to version 9 or above for the best experience of this website

Council has a number of advisory committees and panels, with some established under s355 of the Local Government Act 1998.

The list of 355c Council Committees and other regional groups is reviewed each September by Council.

Aboriginal Strategic Committee

The 355c Aboriginal Strategic Committee consists of representatives from both the Aboriginal community and Council. Representatives from both the Karuah Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council are represented on the Committee.

The role of the committee is to:

  • provide advice in relation to issues of concern between Council and the Aboriginal community;
  • promote a positive public image with respect to issues for Aboriginal people in Port Stephens;
  • provide a consultative mechanism with respect to development issues;
  • improve relations between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community of Port Stephens;
  • exchange information between the Aboriginal community and Council on issues affecting Aboriginal people;
  • promote mutual awareness and respect for the cultures of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities; and
  • promote an increased awareness of the needs of Aboriginal communities and to assist with the development of programs to address those needs where possible and appropriate.

The Aboriginal Strategic Committee also provides advice on applications to the Aboriginal Projects Fund grant program to fund local projects that empower Aboriginal people. Most recently, the program has supported cultural awareness activities in schools and improved educational outcomes for the Aboriginal students.

Additionally, Council hosts an annual dinner for 355c committee members, their guests, Councillors and Council staff. The evening features great entertainment as well as a special guest speaker, discussing their experiences and achievements.

View the Yabang-Gu-Butunga or Road to Tomorrow agreement.

Australia Day Committee

The 355c Australia Day Committee includes members from around the local government area who coordinate activities for annual Australia Day celebrations in the Port Stephens region.

Annual Australia Day celebrations are held at Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay, Lemon Tree Passage and Karuah.

Birubi Point Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel

Purpose: To advise Port Stephens Council on the management plan required to protect the Worimi cultural and spiritual heritage and enhance the environment of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

Birubi Point Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel held its first meeting in May 2014. The Panel advises Port Stephens Council on the requirements to protect the Worimi cultural and spiritual heritage and the enhancement of the environment of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

The Panel convenes three times per year to oversee the design and development of an Aboriginal Place Management Plan for Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place. The Panel reviews draft documents and provides advice on matters relating to cultural heritage conservation. The Panel recommends proposals that protect the cultural and spiritual heritage, improves the landscape, manages user requirements and improves maintenance of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.The Panel considers and endorses an Annual Works Plan that forms the basis for the allocation of funds received from the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management Section 142 Agreement for Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

Membership of the Panel comprises:

  • Port Stephens Council (3 representatives)
  • Registered Aboriginal Owners of the Worimi Conservation Lands (3 representatives)
  • Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management (2 representatives)
  • Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (2 representatives)
  • Birubi Point Surf Life Saving Club (1 representative)
  • Anna Bay community (1 representative)
  • NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (1 representative)
  • NSW Crown Lands (1 representative)

Strategic Arts Committee

The 355c Strategic Arts Committee is an advisory committee of Council that assists with the formulation of policies and plans pertaining to arts and culture, including the Cultural Plan 2015-2018 (PDF 390KB)

The Strategic Arts Committee also provides advice on:

More broadly, the committee plays a role in building and maintaining relations with other community members interested in local cultural development. It also identifies future training opportunities that might support the work of local organisations involved in the planning and delivery of cultural related activity.

Committee membership

The committee consists of up to ten people who have an interest in art and cultural issues, particularly in the areas of strategic direction and policy. It is intended that membership be representative of the broader community of Port Stephens in terms of age, cultural practice and location.

People interested in joining the committee are invited to complete a Volunteer Nomination Form from our A-Z Forms page and return it to Council. Depending on current vacancies, the applicant may be invited to attend a meeting of the Strategic Art Committee to discuss their nomination and interest in the committee's work.

The committee meets four times a year and the meeting and related administrative activities are coordinated by Council's Community Development and Engagement Unit.

Port Stephens Heritage Advisory Committee

Council established a formal Heritage Committee in 2002 as part of the requirement for undertaking a heritage study of the Local Government Area.

Youth Advisory Panel

Council's Youth Advisory Panel has been operating since October 2013, with a vision to build a stronger understanding of the aspirations and needs of young people within local government and the wider community.

The primary aims of the panel are to:

  • reflect the interests of local young people (between the ages of 12-24 years);
  • raise awareness and advocate on issues affecting local young people;
  • support the participation of young people in local community events and activities;
  • act as an advisory group for Council's planning activity and any community organisations wishing to develop plans and activities for young people in the region;
  • allow for interaction between young people with diverse interests and backgrounds;
  • promote  information sharing and a positive image of young people; and
  • promote and participate in leadership initiatives, both local and state-wide.
Update on Youth Advisory Panel activities:
Youth Advisory Panel Membership

If you are interested in becoming a member please contact Council on the details listed below.

Volunteer Committees

Visit our Volunteer Committees & Group Contact page.


Community Development and Engagement Unit
Phone (02) 4988 0255
Email council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au