Council backs move to permanently fly Aboriginal Flag over Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Inner West Council has thrown its support behind a local women’s campaign to have the Aboriginal Flag fly over the Sydney Harbour Bridge 365 days a year.
Proud Kamilaroi woman and Inner West resident Cheree Toka has built a campaign to pressure the NSW Government into reconsidering its opposition to flying the Aboriginal flag over the iconic bridge.
“The Inner West has a unique view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we would look at it with even greater pride if the Aboriginal Flag were to be flown above it,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.
“It is very disappointing that the Aboriginal Flag is still only intermittently flown from the top of the Bridge.
“I urge the NSW Government to rethink its opposition to this issue. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the international symbol of Sydney and Australia. This campaign is about taking pride in and celebrating the world's oldest continuous human civilisation, here, in our own backyard.
“Allowing the Aboriginal Flag to fly proudly over the Bridge, we as a community would be showing our respect for Aboriginal culture, while also taking another small step down the long road of reconciliation,” he said.
Cheree Toka said she is delighted the Inner West Council has taken a stand and backed by campaign to have the Aboriginal Flag fly over the Harbour Bridge all day every day.
“By flying the flag, it shows the people of NSW, and indeed the whole nation, recognises and respects Aboriginal culture. It will also mean we can move forward, together, as a nation,” she said.
Currently, the Aboriginal Flag only flies for 15 days of the year. The Australian and NSW State Flag are flown from the top of the bridge year round.
Early last year, Ms Toka kick-started her campaign with a Change.org petition. The petition had more than 84,000 signatures as of Tuesday 10 April.
Ms Toka is also aiming to gather 10,000 signatures on a hard copy petition, which will force the NSW Legislative Assembly to debate this issue in Parliament.
“I would encourage people to go to www.change.org/p/petition-to-fly-the-aboriginal-flag-atop-of-the-sydney-harbour-bridge-permanently and sign the online petition, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a hard copy of the petition,” said Ms Toka.
Council has committed to publicise the petitions through its regular communications channels as well as providing hard copies of the petition at Council facilities, major events and its service centres.
For further information, please contact John Roper on (02) 9392 5914
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