June Updates 2023

The annual NAIDOC week celebrations took place in Katherine on the 2nd – 9th of July 2023, with the theme for this years celebrations, ‘For Our Elders’. Kalano staff were busy this year planning and organising NAIDOC events as well as attending stakeholder events and showing support for an important and proud week of celebrations on the calendar. There was an afternoon tea event at the flexible Aged Care Centre in community as we work to transition the facility back under the Kalano banner, the Connected Beginnings ladies launched their program with great success and brought the community together with the ever popular ‘Baby Show’, as well as holding our annual ‘Kalano Family Fun Day’ with a host of stakeholders making a great day out on the Kalano Sports Oval. 

A special mention to our Housing, Municipal & Essential Services team, all our staff who helped organise & attend events with clients, and the Katherine NAIDOC committee, NIAA, local Organisations and stakeholders that worked hard to bring the community together for NAIDOC celebrations in 2023.


The word NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year, to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. 


On the 4th of July we officially launched our Connected Beginnings Katherine program with the much-loved Baby Show, where we celebrated the children of Katherine! We’re super excited to be working with the community and work together to help close the gap in school readiness for our First Nations children. A big thank you to the community and all the stakeholders that came down and helped us launch our program and celebrate the children and congratulations to all the amazing Baby Show winners!!

There was a big variety of fun and interacting activities for the children to participate in including the petting zoo, jumping castle, play mats, face painting, fire truck, police car, photo booth and much, much more. We had the amazing Mel Bethel Photography taking beautiful family photos and capturing the magic of the event. Check our Facebook page for the full album of all the photos from the day, you can find us on Facebook at: Connected Beginnings Katherine.


On the 5th of July, Kalano held it’s annual Family Fun Day to celebrate NAIDOC week. There were obstacle courses, jumping castles, AFL, face painting, basketball, prizes, games, a petting zoo, and members from Myalli Brumby hosted the wider Katherine community on the Kalano Oval to celebrate NAIDOC week With the theme for this years NAIDOC celebrations ‘For Our Elders’, Our CFC team held a stall to help people write down what is special to them about their elders and snap a photo to take home and share with their elders to mark the occasion. The event was made possible with the support of the NIAA and the Katherine town council and a big thanks to the essential services crew for feeding 100’s of people on the day.


In June 2023, the Rockhole community bus shelter got a much needed makeover with the help of Jeff ‘Joffa’ Taylor from ‘Joffa’s Toonschool’. ‘Joffa’ is a Sydney based artist and cartoonist from New South Wales who has produced murals in schools all across Australia and the Northern Territory. Joffa’s Toonschool looks to engage youth and students in creating spaces that bring a sense of pride to the community and transform dull, seldom used areas in to vibrant spaces. Check out his work: www.bluemoose.com.au The creation of the bus shelter was an exciting and collaborative process in which the Rockhole community were engaged and contributed their input into the design. 

A total number of nine (9) youths were engaged throughout the development process for their input on the design and a smaller number of youths took part in the painting of the mural along with Joffa. Feedback from Rockhole members was that the new mural & design has “brightened our community” and the community driven project has brought a sense of pride back to the bus shelter.


Youth & Family Services has continued to have positive engagements from both our local community members and members of the greater Big Rivers Region. Our ‘Deadly Cooking’ program is moving into it’s next learning stage, the slow cooker series. This provide our Youth and Families with low cost, easy meal ideas to feed the family. Classes run each Wednesday during school term from 10am – 11.30am and we always welcome and encourage new families to come along and participate. The June/July school holidays saw a steady increase in Youth activity through the CFC. Thanks to funding through the Northern Territory Government, Kalano were able to run four (4) events for the school holiday program with discos in Rockhole, Kalano, Binjari and Katherine town. In terms of staff, we have welcome Jack Ross, a new case manager to our Youth Diversion team. Jack’s positive can-do attitude has been a great influence on the centre and our current group of Youth Diversion clients.

ROCKHOLE REFURBISHMENT PROGRAM (Homelands, Housing & Infrastructure Program)

The housing and infrastructure upgrades to the Rockhole Community primarily focus on the repair and/or replacement of health hardware for the purpose of ensuring houses in the homelands are safe and occupants have the ability to carry out healthy living practices (HLPs). The upgrades are focused firstly on safety, identifying urgent repairs and maintenance to housing and infrastructure. Secondly, the upgrades will improve the functionality of health hardware in houses in relation to better supporting HLPs. There is a focus on upgrading the internal road, solar lighting, and the wastewater treatment system

The aim of the projects is to improve the overall quality of housing and infrastructure in Rockhole, ensuring that community residents have access to safe, secure and quality housing suitable for their needs. Project works include the following upgrades:

  • Housing upgrades of 22 houses.
  • Internal road upgrade including improved draining and widening of existing road.
  • Install hard stand driveways across all houses.
  • Install a Rockhole Community map displaying homelands rules for members and visitors.
  • Installation of solar lighting in public areas.
  • Repair/replace holding tank at sanitation station (3 in place with 2 currently in operation).



The Katherine Children’s Literacy Festival was held on Tuesday 27th June 2023 and what an amazing event it was! There was an attendance of over 300 people. The event brought together a variety of Katherine Services and Community Organisations to promote literacy. This was done with a great range of engaging and interactive activities such as a writing workshop, Book giveaways, deadly reading and story telling from guest speakers in both Kriol and English, arts and crafts and a dance workshop. Connected Beginnings used stickers to decorate bookmarks. It was a big hit and the children created some real masterpieces using a range of stickers and pens. This activity is great for getting little fingers working ready for engaging their imaginations and writing at school.


In June/July 2023, local contractor ‘Yowie Contracting PTY Ltd’ commenced works on the upgrade of the Kalano footy oval. This was a priority project from the community to get the oval back to it’s full potential and get the playing surface possible for community games and for the Kalano Bombers and the Big Rivers AFL league fixtures. Scope of works for the project included installation of a new bore manifold, electrical switchboard, and pop-up irrigation system. All installations are now completed and up and running. There is just some cleaning up to be completed to repair some of the trenches created from the irrigation installation and then works will be complete. Yowie did a great job and anyone looking for similar works can send enquiries to: admin@yowiecontracting.com.au.


Local Katherine artist Jasmine Arnold uses the art of ‘Sublimation’ to press Indigenous designs on to products such as water bottles, phone cases and mugs. Under the business name Jas Dai designs, Jasmine has successfully launched her business and made her first sales. Her customised water bottles have made plenty of sales in Katherine already

Daniel Blitner is a Wardaman man with a passion and skill for making didgeridoo’s. Danny has taken his cultural knowledge out to Barunga Festival to run a Didj making workshop as a micro business making a nice profit over the weekend through his cultural skills and knowledge. Danny has been using the end of 2022 and 2023 to build up a stock of didjeridoos onsite at the Kalano workshop in preparation to sell his pieces to local art centres and eventually Australia wide.

Moleys Mowing is now successfully operating for the past 6 months. Greg has been working full time as the head gardener for Somerville, as well as putting in the hard yards for his own business after hours and on weekends to build up a steady client base.

27 May – 3 June

The dates for National Reconciliation Week are the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Connected Beginnings and CFC staff had some fun stalls at the Reconciliation week event where you could decorate your own yummy biscuits as well as decorating your own rooster for the Katherine show! These activities help children work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and creativity in a fun and active way. We are trying to create activities to give the kids a fun sense of belonging in the community.

This event was organised by stakeholder, Mission Australia & Kentish Lifelong Learning & Care. Events like this help strengthen our community and promote the importance of reconciliation.