Joseph Haweil currently serves as the Mayor of Hume City. Joseph has been particularly active on supporting the settlement, integration, and empowerment of new and emerging communities to reach their full potential.
Joseph has collaborated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop and install a permanent Stolen Generations Marker in Hume. Located at the Malcolm Creek Wetlands in Craigieburn, the Marker pays tribute to the Stolen Generations – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities - denied their identity, family, traditional culture and country through the race-based policies of State and Federal Governments between 1910 and the 1970s.
The site acknowledges the harm caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities across the nation, and serves as a reminder of terrible injustices caused by successive governments and their ongoing impacts. Hume City Council is committed to recognising the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and has created a permanent Marker to provide a place for Stolen Generations survivors, and their families, to gather and reflect. The site provides an opportunity for all Australians to better understand and acknowledge the historical wrongs and help our communities to find a sense of peace, identity and belonging.
Making the Marker In early 2020 Hume City Council established a Working Group to guide the Stolen Generation Marker project. The group included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, community members with direct experience of impacts on the Stolen Generations and representatives from peak bodies including Connecting Home and Link-Up Victoria. Following a careful concept development phase, overseen by the Stolen Generations Marker Working Group, Council engaged Gunnai/Waradjurie/Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara artist, Robert Young, to create the Marker for Hume. Robert's installation, Covered in our Creator, features a large metal possum skin cloak (representing family), located on a canoe shaped ground artwork (representing journey) in front of a traditional coolamon rendered in stone (representing childhood).
The artist invited several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members with personal experiences related to the Stolen Generations to create original designs that feature on the surface of the large metal cloak. These community design contributions are unique in themselves and were made by the following people: Myrtle Roach Evans (Gunditjmara/Bundjalung) Tracey Evans (Gunditjmara/Bundjalung) Karen Lovett (Gunditjmara) Barbara Burns (Wiradjuri) Selwyn Burns (Wiradjuri) Nicole Bloomfield (Wiradjuri)
The Marker was formally opened to the public on Saturday 10 December 2022 and is an important new cultural site for Hume and Victoria. Council will continue to introduce the general community to the site and build knowledge about the Stolen Generations, as part of broader work towards truth telling and reconciliation. It has been a 3-year project that was impacted by COVID and much of the project was transferred online to enable the Working Group to proceed with assessing possible locations. There was an EOI process and 4 artists developed concepts. There has been a focus on self-determination and enabling the working group to guide the project and make key decisions along the way. Lastly the Marker is part of a broader Hume commitment to truth-telling.