Fairfield Hospital unveils Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander garden

When a photographer asked Fairfield Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officer Katrina Sing if there was "anything Aboriginal" at the hospital she could be photographed with, there was only one answer she could give.

"Well, just me," she said. " There was a welcome sign but there was not a lot of Aboriginal representation."

That was 12-months ago. A lot has changed since then.

Now there are artworks, posters, flags, events and even an indigenous room is in the pipeline.

On Wednesday, one of her pet projects was unveiled at South Western Sydney Local Health District's NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Fairfield Hospital's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander garden is shaped as a sugar glider - one of two totems of theDarug Nation which the land sits on.

Fairfield Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officer Katrina Sing. Picture: SWSLHD

Fairfield Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officer Katrina Sing. Picture: SWSLHD

Almost 15 months in the making, the garden features four shields around protection and three circles which represents the circle of life. Ms Sing worked with Neal McGarrity from the Angel Feather Foundation to design the garden which is supposed to act as a place of rest.

"The concept was to increase representation around cultural safety and awareness," she said.

"I'm very passionate about my role. I made it my mission to increase cultural awareness and representation.

"The thing is with Aboriginal people when they present at facility like this, if there is no representation, often they won't identify."

The garden will be named Ngalawau Nag-ah-mi (sit and to dream) after the community voted on the name at the NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The festivities included a smoking ceremony by Billy Tompkins, performances from the Buuja Buuja Butterfly Dance Group and the Urban Zenadth Kes Torres Strait Islander Dance Group and a traditional bush tucker demonstration by Shared Knowledge

There were also 15 information stalls, a NSW police indigenous car, fire truck and a Western Sydney Wanderers inflatable.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. is the theme of this year's NAIDOC Week, which runs from July 7 to 13, encouraging everyone from all walks of life to work together for a shared future.