Saying sorry at the birthplace of the Aboriginal flag

Article image - Saying sorry at the birthplace of the Aboriginal flag

One of the ways Adelaide City Council is marking today’s National Sorry Day and the coming Reconciliation Week is by flying additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags around the city.

The gesture is particularly fitting as the Aboriginal flag was first flown in Adelaide’s Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga when it was created in 1971.

The flag was designed by Harold Thomas – artist and Luritji man – who was the first Aboriginal artist to graduate from an Australian Art School. It was officially adopted by Aboriginal people in 1972 when it was flown at the “tent embassy” outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Adelaide councillor and Reconciliation Committee member, Priscilla Corbell said that Council honours the historical association of Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga as the birthplace of the Aboriginal flag.

“The Aboriginal flag flies permanently and proudly on one of the two large flagpoles in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga,” said Cr Corbell.

The City of Adelaide has long been active on the process of reconciliation, forming a Reconciliation Committee in 2002, and honouring a Reconciliation Action Plan, which consolidates the Council's commitment to reconciliation with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“I’m also proud that our Reconciliation Committee was formed in 2002 with goals to advance reconciliation in the City between Aboriginal and Torres Islander people and the wider community,” said Cr Corbell.

National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year to raise awareness of the history and continued impacts of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their families, communities and culture.

National Reconciliation Week begins tomorrow and runs until 3 June to celebrate and build on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

The Adelaide City Council’s community centres also play an active role in promoting reconciliation in the city and over the coming week they will host a suite of activities that community members are encouraged to attend.