Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council

The Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council (AFAC) has been established under Section 229 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 to provide strategic level advice to the Minister for Primary Industries on issues affecting Aboriginal fishing. The Council will continue to play an important role in the development of cultural fishing policy as well as exploring commercial opportunities for Aboriginal communities associated with fishing activities.


The functions of the Council are to:

  1. advise the Minister on any matter that is referred to it and
  2. advise the Minister on any other matter it considers relevant to the Aboriginal fishing sector.

Within these broad functions the Council has focus on the following priority areas:

  • Aboriginal interests in the management of fisheries
  • Aboriginal access to fisheries resources for cultural purposes
  • Commercial/economic opportunities for Aboriginal people flowing from fisheries activity
  • Advice on appropriate cultural awareness training for DPI Fisheries staff
  • Advice on research priorities relating to Aboriginal people’s connection with the fisheries resource
  • Employment and training for Aboriginal people within DPI and Aboriginal involvement in each sector
  • Advice on expenditure from the Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund.

Enquiries regarding the Council can be made to DPI on (02) 4424 7400.

AFAC membership

The AFAC is composed of up to fourteen members, as prescribed under the Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 2010.

The membership of the Council must include the following:

  1. Aboriginal persons appointed to represent different regions of the State (not more than 10 persons in total),
  2. one other Aboriginal person,
  3. one person appointed as a representative of NTSCORP Limited,
  4. one person appointed as a representative of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council,
  5. a senior officer of the Department (non-voting member).

The make-up of the Council aims to provide for knowledge and experience of:

  • Aboriginal cultural fishing
  • social and cultural significance of commercial fishing for Aboriginal people
  • fisheries issues affecting Aboriginal people and communities.

The AFAC members also provide knowledge of and capacity to speak for the local region on fisheries related issues.

Current AFAC membership

Member name and regionProfile

Mr Rene Woods - Chair

Region 1 Far West NSW


Currently vacant

Region 2 North West


Mr Michael Nolan

Region 3 Central NSW


Mr David Carter

Region 4 South Western NSW


Dr Chels Marshall - Deputy Chair

Region 5 Northern NSW


Ms Regina Moran

Region 6 Far North Coast NSW


Mr Wayne Anderson

Region 7 North Coast NSW


Mr Ross McEntyre

Region 8 Sydney and NSW Central Coast


Mr Graham Connolly Jr

Region 9 South Coast NSW


Currently vacant

Region 10 Far South Coast NSW


Dr Laura Parker

Other Aboriginal Person
appointed by the Minister


Ms Natalie Rotumah

Nominee of NTSCORP


Cllr Peter Smith

Nominee of NSWALC


Ms Laura McNamara

Senior Officer of NSW DPI

Map of AFAC membership regions

AFAC map