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Government House Indigenous Flag 'permanent'

Jun 28, 2017

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In a step toward National Reconciliation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been raised at an official ceremony at NSW Government House and will remain a permanent fixture.

Governor of NSW General David Hurley hosted the flag raising ceremony on Wednesday morning as Gadigal elders and Torres Strait representatives watched on in preparation for the forthcoming NAIDOC Week.

'Flags evoke many emotions. This is an emotional event for me and for many people here. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have fought and died for our Australian flag,' General Hurley said.

In the past, the indigenous flags were unfurled on a temporary basis at Government House to mark commemorations such as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week.

The flags will now fly on new poles located alongside the Government House driveway and sit alongside the NSW state and Australian flags.

While General Hurley acknowledged 'there is further work to do to build on and strengthen our community relationships', he hoped the ceremony would be 'a visible link' in helping to build a better future for indigenous communities in NSW.

This year also marks the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th Anniversary of the Mabo decision, General Hurley said.

Wednesday's historic occasion commenced with a traditional smoking and dance ceremony, and as the flags were unfurled the Australian national anthem was sung in Dharawal and English by the Kari Choir.