• A woman holds an Australian Aboriginal Flag during a demonstration in Sydney (AAP)Source: AAP
The Hills Shire Council votes against Acknowledging Country again despite growing public pressure.
Nadine Silva

24 Jun 2020 - 3:36 PM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2020 - 3:41 PM

A local council on Dharag land in Sydney's north-west has again voted against a motion on Tuesday night to include an Acknowledgement of Country at its own meetings and events.

The motion to include an Acknowledgment was put forward by Labour Councillor Ryan Trace after a similar proposal was voted down by Hills Shire councillors earlier in June.

Tuesday night's motion was defeated 9 votes to three. 

After the Council vote earlier this month, Councillor Brooke Collins, told local resident Mikaela Gallaway earlier that an Acknowledgement of Country only “divides us more."

Ms Gallaway shared screenshots of their email correspondence on Facebook that showed the councillor saying, “we should also acknowledge people brought against their will from England in 1788, and European settlement for making our country what it is today.”

Acknowledgement of Country is something that has been proactively fostered at Oakhill College, a high school within the shire , for years said the school's Aboriginal Coordinator Karen Isaacs. 

While the council has long been split on this issue, public outrage at their decision continues to grow.

Dr Annemarie Christie took to Twitter to post a list of councillors “who have repeatedly voted AGAINST" an Acknowledgement of Country at council meetings and events.

Councillor Trace also tweeted yesterday, “I was so proud to receive a petition from Jayden that The Hills Shire Council Acknowledge the Traditional Custodians with 35124 supporters.”

The petition has since gained 970 additional signatures, with a goal of reaching 50,000 and is what compelled Ms Gallaway to email Councillor Collins on Mabo Day at the start of National Reconciliation Week.

"I'm sad that a man elected to represent issues in my community has these ideals,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald at the time.

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