8 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury City Council, LikeMind, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District and the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) are inviting organisations and individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing to join us at the Hawkesbury Meet Your Neighbour (MYN) networking event on Wednesday, 14 February from 12:45 pm to 4 pm at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St Richmond.

    This is an opportunity to:

    • Share what you are doing in relation to supporting people with mental health conditions
    • Find out what other organisations and mental health service providers are doing
    • Find ways to collaborate and work together to better connect people you support with local services and activities

    Meet Your Neighbour, is a Mental Health Coordinating Council approach to get connected - encouraging people and organisations with an interest in Mental Health to meet, learn more about each other and find ways to work better together. We look forward to meeting you.

    Tables are provided for you to promote your organisation - please bring along any material you would like to share and plenty of business cards.

    Past attendees include: CEOs, managers, team leaders, clinicians, community workers, disability workers, social workers, occupational therapists, registered nurses, program advisors, consumers, carers and so on.

    Everyone is welcome. RSVP essential through www.mynhawkesbury.eventbrite.com.au as light refreshments will be provided.

  • I’d also love to see you at the Hope Walk on Saturday, 17 February at 9:15am. It will start at the Richmond Tennis Courts, Windsor St, Richmond and finish at the Hawkesbury Visitors Information Centre, Clarendon. It’s an easy walk, and hopefully the weather is kind to us!

    This is a walk for hope to support families that have lost families and friends to death by suicide. Walk on this day to raise awareness about suicide, show that we care and break the stigma of suicide.

Mayoral Column

For the second year, Council had a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony before the annual term of meetings commenced. Erin Wilkins, a Darug woman opened proceedings with a Welcome to Country. The Smoking Ceremony followed Erin’s Welcome to Country and was conducted by Vicki Thom. Due to the extreme heat on the day Vicki used eucalyptus apple gum leaves dipped in water in place of smoke, using a brushing technique to sprinkle those in attendance with water from the leaves. Around 40 people were at the ceremony, including Councillors, local Aboriginal people and Aboriginal people from surrounding communities, as well as people who live and work in our area and others who maintain a special connection to the Hawkesbury.

The water was beautifully scented and refreshing on a hot day, and Vicki Thom kindly gave me the leaf branches afterwards. I have now placed the bunch on my desk as a special reminder of the ceremony.

This was the continuation of a relatively new tradition 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. I can confidently say that we all felt honoured to be there and to receive the spiritual cleansing and blessings. Thank you to everyone who attended and my thanks to Erin Wilkins and to Vicki Thom.

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