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Councillor Column – 26 March 2024 – Councillor Mary Dodd

Apr 2, 2024

For Immediate Release 26 March 2024
Authorised by Councillor Mary Dodd

Passionate, creative, dynamic people. Hilltops is blessed to have so many. Hilltops talent has been on display in HOBTRACT – Hilltops Off the Beaten Track Arts and Cultural Trail. Incredible music, art, food and wine right across Hilltops.

At Harden on Saturday, we were reminded by all speakers, of the rich cultural talent we have in this area. Three of the many gifted locals, shared their stories. Carl Valerius who created the cast bronze ‘Bill the Bastard’ statue in Harden, spoke passionately about the story behind Bill. You may have seen some of his work as a stone mason at the Chinese Friendship Garden in Darling Harbour. Stewart Bruce, a musician and just one of the driving forces behind the Silo Sounds concert series, delighted us with his story and the serendipitous meetings throughout his life. Eliza Wells, a local who has returned to Harden after living in many different places, is keen to promote the value of community cultural and creative projects.

All the speakers mentioned the incredible diversity and depth of talent that can be found in Harden. Of course, the conclusion was a splendid morning tea – nothing like country cooking, delicious!

From there I went to Boorowa and enjoyed etchings and abstract art from both new and old residents. Having visited the many Murringo events last weekend, I went straight out to Bulla Creek Brewing to enjoy the beer and the works of another local artist, Megan Holt. The Porter beer, made with cherries, is worth the drive.

A huge thank you to the dedicated and passionate locals who have ideas and follow them through so that we all benefit. I could write a book instead of a column!

We need a diversity of voices as our representatives so keep thinking about whether you could stand in the upcoming September council elections.

Mary Dodd 0404 485 519

mary.dodd@hilltops.nsw.gov.au