• Tony Bosworth

Charity drive - volunteers set off from Hawkesbury with goods bound for Aboriginal communities

Hawkesbury's Helping Hands (HHH) charity volunteers set off this morning for Aboriginal communities in North Western NSW with vehicles loaded to the brim with $160,000 worth of goods - including brand new clothing and shoes, hand sanitiser, toiletries, fresh produce and other items.

The group of six women volunteers – including HHH’s founder Linda Strickland - hit the road early Friday to begin what they call their Friendship Journey, with the first stop in Bourke.

More than half the women in the group are of Aboriginal descent and have given the name muru gumal – which is the Darug translation (the Aboriginal language of the Sydney Basin) for friendship journey.

Once they arrive, items will be distributed through the Brewarrina and Goodooga communities.

The return journey to Sydney will include a final stop over in Gulargambone in the Coonamble Shire Council area.

“We have spoken to relevant councils to get approval to enter because of the vulnerability of those we are visiting, and we have all been Covid tested before departure,” Ms Strickland said.

Fittingly, the group has an Aboriginal art depiction of their trip.

The concentric circles are the meeting places and stops they are making; the lines in between are the journey the volunteers are travelling, the footprints are standing together as one and creating pathways to friendships; the dilly bag is representing the food and resources they will pass on; the stick at the top is a message stick, a sign of passing message and words across various nations and Country, and the hands represent HHH.

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