NAIDOC Week will be held around the country from July 4 – 11, under this year’s theme “Heal Country”.

The week recognises the contribution our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made, and their connection to land, sea and culture.

Residents of The Hills Shire are encouraged to take time and participate in the week, in a COVID-19 safe way, and embrace First Nations culture by supporting their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said this year’s theme is ‘Heal Country’ and one of the best ways to begin the healing journey is through education.   

“Making purposeful changes begins on our own personal journey of exploration, learning and discovery. Only then can we make informed decisions that are truly inclusive of our First Nations people,” Mayor Byrne said.  

“Our Libraries are one of the best ways to access this information. We have an extensive Indigenous author collection, which you can view and borrow when our Libraries re-open and after restrictions ease. You can also download an eBook on our Hills Shire Library App, as well as visit Council’s website to learn more.

“I’ve also met with representatives from local Indigenous groups and organisations, such as Muru Mittigar, to understand how Council can do more to foster a relationship with our First Nations people. What came from these discussions is that any recognition of our Indigenous people needs to be meaningful and not tokenistic. It’s about respect and inclusiveness. 

“By being prepared to listen and learn – we can all grow in awareness of our Shire’s culture,” Mayor Byrne added.

Due to the public health orders that are in place, Council’s NAIDOC Week activities will be on a smaller scale. 

“While it’s unfortunate we can’t run some of our activities originally planned, I hope our residents take time to participate in NAIDOC Week in their own special way,” Mayor Byrne said.

Residents of all ages are invited to complete a colouring template, called Kangaroo Dreaming by local Aboriginal artist Thomas Smith, which will be available to download online, via The Hills Shire Library Service’s, webpage,

Library members can also collect a copy from their local library branch (Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Dural and Vinegar Hill Memorial Library at Rouse Hill Town Centre) once restrictions are eased.

Completed artworks will be displayed online on The Hills Shire Library Service’s webpage and on their Facebook page. 

Library members can also take their original artwork to their local library branch, once restrictions are eased and Hills Shire libraries are open, to receive a reward, including a special commemorative bookmark. It is hoped hard copies can go on display at Castle Hill Library from July 12, dependent on the restrictions of the time.

Adding to this, library members can view special NAIDOC Week story times on Story Box, which can be accessed via The Hills Shire Library Service’s webpage (under the eLibrary tab) and on The Hills Shire Library App. The App can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. 

Article Provided by The Hills Shire Council
Image Supplied by the ABC