The Aboriginal flag will become a permanent feature of Sydney’s skyline after an announcement by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
The Aboriginal flag – which recently became free for all to use after a historic $20 million copyright deal between the Federal Government and the flag’s creator Luritija artist Harold Thomas – will join the Australian flag and the NSW flag atop the famous bridge.
Prior to the changes, the Aboriginal flag would only fly for 19 days of the year, according to the Daily Mail.
Kamilaroi woman Cheree Toka was the driving force behind the campaign spoke of the flag’s power to start discussions and educate people.
“Yes, it is a symbolic gesture, however, it identifies the true history of Australia and to see that flag on the bridge will spark conversation and educate people about the indigenous people of this country,” Toka said as per the Sydney Morning Herald.
A 5 year struggle worth while.— Cheree Toka (@Chereetoka) February 4, 2022
WE BLOODY DID IT ????
Thank you to everyone who participated. The @ChangeAus petition & @gofundme won’t stop until the flag is flying proud.
Let’s see it to the end.@AIA_SydneyCBD @MayorDarcy @david4wyong @GaryNunn1https://t.co/Xbqhunc8m7
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet also acknowledged that this primarily cosmetic improvement won’t mean anything without serious policy change and other practical actions to improve the lives of Indigenous people in Australia as per The Guardian.
“We can’t truly be proud of our country unless we are working together to achieve true reconciliation,” Perrottet said.
One roadblock on the way to achieving this measure is that apparently it could take between six and 12 months to put in position. Apparently it’s super difficult to chuck another flag pole on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which makes a lot of sense. PSA to whoever installs it – check the fireworks schedule ahead of time.
Dom had a few words to say on the logistics issue too.
“What I find ridiculous is that we could build the Harbour Bridge in the 1920s, but apparently we can’t put a flagpole on the bridge in 2022,” said the NSW Premier who has apparently forgotten that 16 people died during the bridge’s construction according to his own government’s transport department.
On the whole, this move is definitely a step in the right direction and was supercharged by an Indigenous person. Let’s hope the folks in charge keep listening to First Nations voices.