9 February 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Sweetheart Day, held every year on February 14, is a chance for all Australians to get together to help our Aussie heart kids by funding vital support and life-changing medical research into childhood heart disease. Eight babies are born every day with a heart defect in Australia. Register today to be a sweetheart and spread the word that 8 babies per day is just #8toomany. For more information on Sweetheart Day click here https://www.sweetheartday.org.au/about-sweetheart-day
  • Next week is Australia's Healthy Weight Week from Monday, 13 February 2017 to Sunday, 19 February 2017. The Week aims to inspire all Aussies to cook at home more often to achieve a healthy weight. Run by the Dietitians’ Association of Australia, this important week is all about getting the right advice and support. Much like our successful Shop Cook Save event last year, the campaign aims to get people cooking healthy food at home more often - See more at www.healthyweightweek.com.au
  • I love getting my mind activated and I’m sure most of us do. So why not try to book into the Library’s free book launch for award-winning crime writer, Candice Fox. Candice visited the Hawkesbury for a gripping author talk in 2016 and will return to launch her latest novel Crimson Lake at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor on Monday, 20 February, from 6pm to 7:30pm. Copies of her new book will be available to purchase and to have signed. Refreshments will also be provided, so bookings are essential. Visit www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com to book or call 4560 4460.
  • With healthy bodies and healthy minds it also makes sense to have a healthy environment. Now is the time to start registering for Clean Up Australia Day, which will be held on Sunday, 5 March. You can join a team or register a site for Clean Up Australia Day. In 2016 more than 750,000 volunteers removed an estimated 16,000 tonnes of rubbish from 8,205 sites across Australia. Every year our local participation rate grows and I am sure 2017 will be even better. You can go looking for sites that need a clean up or you may already know a site.

    Schools can also get involved in a special Clean Up Day on Friday, 3 March 2017 and businesses can get involved on Tuesday, 28 February 2016. This program is coordinated by Clean Up Australia Day. Council can only collect rubbish from registered sites. Dumped rubbish will not be collected and may incur a fine. To register and for more information, contact Clean Up Australia on 1800 282 329 or visit www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au
  • Council is supporting MobileMuster's 'Mobile for a Meal' campaign this summer. Until the end of February, MobileMuster will donate the value of a meal to OzHarvest, Australia's leading food rescue organisation for every mobile recycled.

    Our MobileMuster drop off point is located at Council's Administration Building at 366 George Street, Windsor. I encourage our community members to help by recycling their old mobiles. Many Council staff recycle their old phones at this drop off point as well. Please drop your mobile in as soon as possible because the mobiles will need to be packaged and sent off by the end of February for the Mobile for a Meal campaign.  Visit http://www.mobilemuster.com.au for more information.

Mayoral Column

Council recently held a smoking ceremony before its first Council Meeting for 2017. This marked the start of a new tradition for Council, in which Council has resolved to hold a smoking ceremony before the first Council meeting of every year. A smoking ceremony is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for spiritual cleansing and to ward off bad spirits. Around 50 people attended the ceremony, which included not only local and surrounding Aboriginal people, but many people who live and work in our area and others who maintain a special connection to the Hawkesbury. Thank you to everyone who attended.

It was a pleasure to pay my sincere respects to the Darug elders past and present, especially to our senior Darug elder who did our Welcome to Country, Aunty Edna Watson, accompanied by her granddaughter Krystal. Vicki Thom performed our smoking ceremony, with Aunty Edna's permission. Due to a Total Fire Ban, Vicki used eucalyptus leaves dipped in water for a brushing process, instead of using smoke.

As a group, the ceremony gave us the chance to acknowledge the local Aboriginal Traditional Custodians of the land, the Darug Nation. It was also a special gathering in which, we acknowledged the valuable contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make, not only to Australia’s national identity, but to our local identity, given our Indigenous community is such an integral part of the Hawkesbury.

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