Hay Community Information
The Hay Plains are world renowned as the flattest place in the Southern Hemisphere. The vast plains that rise just 17 meters from the highest to lowest point provide a spectacular backdrop for photographers, astronomers and nature lovers.
There is nowhere else in NSW where visitors can experience an uninterrupted 360 degree view of the flattest land. The breathtaking landscape enables visitors to truly appreciate the big skies, saltbush plains and wildlife up close. Located approximately midway between Sydney and Adelaide at the junction of the Sturt,Cobb and Mid-Western Highways , the town itself is built beside the Murrumbidgee River, part of the Murray-Darling river system.
The district surrounding Hay was occupied by at least three separate Aboriginal groups at the time of European settler expansion onto their lands. The area around the present township appears to have been a site of interaction between the Nari-Nari people of the Lower Murrumbidgee and the Wiradjuri people who inhabited a vast region in the central-western inland of New South Wales.
There are substantial native mammal, reptile and bird populations found within the Hay Shire, with the Lower Murrumbidgee area home to thousands of species of native and introduced fauna that occupies a multitude of different environments.
Commonly found throughout the area are Red and Grey Kangaroo, Short-beaked Echidna, Galah, Cockatoo and Wedge-tail eagle. The Lower Murrumbidgee is home to a wide range of native and introduced aquatic fauna which inhabit wetlands, rivers and associated creek habitats.
Saltbush Shrublands generally occur on open, clay soil plains with the species and structure varying. Native grasses are sparse but ground layer plants including Pigface are plentiful and spectacular during spring with the wonderful colours of the wildflowers.
The Bidgee Riverside and Cultural Trail was completed through a partnership between Hay Aboriginal Community Working Party and Hay Shire Council - a formed walking track that hugs the curves of the Murrumbidgee River. The trail invites you to wander through nature and the home of the magnificent River Red Gums from Bushy Bend reserve to Sandy Point beach.
The walking track features the picturesque Warakirri Murals, completed with support from various artists of Warakirri, Ivanhoe Correctional Centre. Throughout the track you can read about the history of the life between the town and the river and enjoy the large public sculptures.
Through a joint initiative of the Hay Aboriginal Community Working Party and Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service, 2017 saw the opening of the Hay Aboriginal Medical Service (HAMS). HAMS has provided employment opportunities and culturally appropriate medical services to the community of Hay. Due to the towns overwhelming response to these services, funding was secured to purchase a bigger and permanent building to operate at a larger scale.
Goals / Objectives
The Hay Aboriginal Community Working Party have developed multiple partnerships with government and non-government agencies to share in decision making with regards to the area’s cultural heritage. As a result, there has been a positive increase in community engagement and celebration of cultural events.
We hope these partnerships continue to develop and grow to establish a strong voice for local Indigenous people far into the future. It is through open communication, wisdom of local Elders and leaders, respect and inclusivity that will allow Hay to grow into a culturally vibrant community once again.
- Patients must travel to Griffith (approx. 1.5hrs)
- No youth workers or school counsellor
- In demand GAMS visits go unfilled as a result of poor awareness raising
- Police Liaison Office in Deniliquin, would like more connection with police in relation to youth
- Very little activity for youth
- Concerns about decision making within the LALC and the impact on community
- Racism – divides the community
- Lack of understanding in community of Aboriginal culture
- Aboriginal Flag at Hay Shire Council
- Aboriginal Flag at Public School
- A place to join the divide to show we care for our own but this doesn’t mean we are against non-Aboriginals
- A cultural facility is needed to teach Aboriginal studies, day trips out on the land to teach kids about their culture in a real non-textbook way.