The Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association (HICSA) was established in December 2009
“To establish a welcoming and culturally affirming place in Healesville that provides a central point of contact for community members, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, for information, services and programs that are focused on building a healthy, strong and skilled community”
The Association and its members are committed to working collaboratively and harmoniously to achieve the above vision. To work towards the general betterment of Aboriginal people and, specifically, for the advancement of Aboriginal people in Healesville and the Yarra Ranges.
Acknowledgement to Country
The Board of the Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association Incorporated would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land, the Wurundjeri, and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We would also like to acknowledge those peoples, including Elders, who came to live on Wurundjeri land from all over Australia as a result of dispossession from their homelands, and in more recent times through choice. We will strive to uphold a cultural respect model that further includes and strengthens all our people, stories, traditions and culture for now and future generations.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous families came together for a morning of music, storytelling, art and play on Sunday 17th March. The Healesville Reconciliation Precinct for Children and Families Open Day showcased the vision of six agencies (including HICSA) involved in a partnership focused on creating a safe, integrated, culturally competent and welcoming early years education precinct for Healesville.
A welcome to country was given by Wurundjeri elder Gloria Coombes - Aunty Kitty, and Healesville elder Aunty Dot Peters who shared stories and traditional skills including grass coiling.
Families took part in community singing, drumming and Indigenous crafts and were entertained by the pupeteers of the Dream Puppet Show, Healesville's Valley Crew hip-hop dancers and the Gabony Yubupi Yinggabai (First Children Sing) Choir.
Community engagement worker Bronwyn Forster said the day was very much about cultural awareness for both Indigenous and non Indigenous community members.
'The aim of the day was to bring the wider community and Aboriginal community together for a celebration for children in the early years', says Bronwyn.
A chalk artwork produced as part of the open day depicted the partnership's vision with every child at the centre of a support network that includes family, country and culture, community and integrated programs and services in a way that respects children's rights, safety, caring and sharing and respect.
Aboriginal artist Kerry Thompson, who led the chalk drawing, and her two children enjoyed the day.
Go to here for more information on the reconciliation precinct.