Huon Valley News

NAIDOC Week 2020: Street banners unveiled and reconciliation action begins

The Huon Valley Council is committed to strengthening our relationships and working partnerships with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, so that we can support their languages, culture and heritage to be respected, shared and celebrated into the future.

In acknowledgement and respectful celebration of NAIDOC Week 2020 (8–15 November), the Main Street of Huonville is lined with new street banners featuring artwork by local Aboriginal artist Reuben Oates.

From the Valley is inspired by life in the Huon Valley”

The Huon Valley Council was delighted when Mr Oates accepted to design the banners as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which is now under development. Each banner features one segment of the commissioned artwork, From the Valley.

From the Valley is inspired by life in the Huon Valley,” said Mr Oates. “I wanted to signify four key aspects of the Valley: the Huon River as the chain that connects the Valley, the farming work and lifestyle that brings our community together, the orchards and fruit that have been part of our bloodline and reputation for generations, and the roots as a symbol of growth and heritage passed on.

“Whether you’re a member of the Aboriginal community and are connected to the land, a local farmer, someone who has lived in the Valley your whole life, a lover of the local fruit or nature, or just passing through to take in the breathtaking landscape, I feel there is something relevant in these paintings for you.”

“NAIDOC Week marks the start of development of our RAP, which will guide and drive our reconciliation efforts as an organisation,” said Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders.

“As a ‘Reflect’ RAP, it will scope our capacity for reconciliation and set out actions that will prepare our organisation for the journey ahead. It is vital for Council that our actions are genuine and meaningful as we work together with our local Aboriginal people to develop the RAP. There is so much to learn about Aboriginal life in Tasmania – a culture that is over 40,000 years old in Tasmania.

“We are currently making contact with stakeholders so that we can listen to and seek to understand what their aspirations are for reconciliation action in our community, and how they want to see Council approach the RAP.”


All Huon Valley community members are invited to have their say on Council’s RAP. For more information, including a link to our community survey, please visit Have Your Say.

Follow Reuben Oates Art on Facebook and Instagram,