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Cockatoo Island & North Head Sanctuary – Consultation outcomes and next steps

Our true north is found in the heart and voice of our community of stakeholders.

From early May to June 2021, we asked what matters most, and how you perceived the concepts, ideas and vision we are considering for two of the Harbour’s most important sites, Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary.

We asked about our successes and the areas in which we could improve. About how we could meet the ongoing challenge of creating more unique and meaningful ways of engaging with visitors, the community and our lands with the Harbour. You spoke with passion, and commitment and hope.

Shared themes

There are many shared themes across both sites, despite their significant differences. The desire for experience that is meaningful and memorable. The chance to learn. The desire to preserve and share stories; to see the natural environment restored in harmony with historical buildings at both sites; the ability to visit and spend time learning about both the First Nations Peoples’ history as well as Australia’s military, maritime, convict and colonial history. Sharing. Learning. Experiencing.

You’ve told us that both important sites need to be conserved for generations to come, in a way that respects their history and looks to the future. To everyone who took part in this consultation, we thank you sincerely for your contributions. We want you to know, we have heard you.

What you told us

At the heart of the feedback, is the desire to respect and honour history and our heritage – both of First Nations Peoples, and Australia’s history post colonisation. You told us you want to see every facet of Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary’s history respected and celebrated. You want the chance to learn of this history through experience, to know that the depth and breadth of Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary’s incredible stories will be shared in a way that is living, vibrant, honouring and truthful. You don’t want a museum, you want a living, tangible experience.

Next steps

The vision we have started to unfold for North Head Sanctuary and Cockatoo Island represents a journey that will continue into the future. Like all journeys, it is about the people who come with you, and we are inviting you to join us. The conversations we’ve had with you, our community and stakeholders mark the first important steps. As we move forward, we will continue to look to you for feedback as our plans continue to evolve and take shape, and, over time, become reality.

We will continue to be guided by you as we mould and shape our final plans, updating and involving you as we go. If you haven’t had a chance to provide your input or have additional thoughts on these projects, please let us know and become a part of the conversation. We care what you think, and your ideas will impact our plans going forward.


Helpful links

Learn more about the vision we are unfolding for Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary