Shire notes with Councillor Maurice Collison

It’s NAIDOC Week and this is an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous heritage and culture and share it with the next generation.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a NAIDOC event at Scone Public School last week and it was a wonderful experience – particularly seeing the students learning traditional dances.

Yesterday Council held our own NAIDOC Week cultural sharing event where children learnt about traditional cultural activities through crafts.

Indigenous heritage is not something we should just think about during NAIDOC or Reconciliation weeks. Council are definitely improving how we include indigenous culture in our work and in our promotion of the shire’s attractions.

Every day our Council offices proudly fly the Aboriginal flag, alongside the Australian flag and we begin public events by acknowledging the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which the meeting takes place, and paying respect to elders past, present and future.

We are soon taking a big step forward in improving our understanding of Indigenous culture and history, through an Upper Hunter Shire Aboriginal Heritage Study that will start this year.

The study has been funded by a $40,000 grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and will be managed by Council, and undertaken in partnership with Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council, local museum societies and groups, academic institutions and other experts in indigenous heritage. This will assist Council to better manage Aboriginal sites – both to protect and promote them.

We will all benefit from increasing awareness of our Shire’s Indigenous heritage and a stronger understanding of ceremonies and traditions.


The Scone and Regional Livestock Selling Centre is undergoing a major redevelopment which is progressing well. This was in the media last week after the Mayor, Council staff  and I met with our state and federal MPs Michael Johnsen and Barnaby Joyce to inspect progress on the work. It really is going to be a much improved and more efficient facility with better conditions for both the cattle, staff and the public.

Another great games

Congratulations to Charles Cooke and all the volunteers who make the Aberdeen Highland Games such an amazing spectacle. I also want to thank the Council staff who do so much work to prepare for all our festivals - and help in the clean up afterwards.