The City of Sydney has announced today that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists will no longer require busking permits to practice their cultures in public spaces around the city.
The policy, which was put forward last year, has been approved by the City of Sydney, recognising the importance - and fundamental human right - for First Nations people being able to practice their rich musical culture on their own land without regulation.
In a statement shared today, Edie Coe, Sydney's first Manager of Indigenous Leadership and Engagement, celebrated the policy, stating that “As custodians of the world’s longest continuing cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s continuation of cultural practice is nurtured, expressed and shared through art, dance, song and storytelling. The practice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, outdoors and in public spaces, is the practice of our inherent cultural rights as articulated in Article 11 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore added to the statement, saying “The practice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures is a testament to the resilience, fortitude and continuation of these living cultures."
“The intrinsic right to practice cultures is vital to maintaining wellbeing, personal identity and connection to culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as sharing cultural knowledge. The City’s new policy recognises that the practice of cultural heritage is not a busking activity – this means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can practice their cultures without requiring an approval from the City, as long as safety requirements are met.”
Find out more about the City of Sydney's new policy here.