Topic: Indigenous

Call to permanently see Aboriginal flag on Sydney Harbour Bridge

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Australia

Nearly 30,000 signatures are backing a call to get the Aboriginal flag flown permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The flag is only flown on special events like Australia Day but Cheree Toka who's leading the charge wants it to be flown day and night.

It's as iconic as the Sydney opera house, and one Aboriginal woman wants to make her peoples mark on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Toka says, “I hope to achieve having the aboriginal flag flown permanently on the Sydney harbour bridge, currently, there's only the Australian and NSW flag.”

The flag was originally designed for the land rights movement in 1971 by Harold Thomas and has become a symbol of the Aboriginal people of Australia.

“It's a symbol of strength for my people, and flying the flag is a highly visible symbol of respect to aboriginal people.”

Te Anau Tuiono knows all too well the challenges Ms Toka is facing when his group 'Te Ata Tino Toa' successfully managed to get the Tino Rangatiratanga flag flown on the Auckland harbour bridge on Waitangi Day in 2009.

“I think the biggest challenge will be the racism, but other than that they need to be creating the conversation in the community, they need to create it in other communities too and hopefully it will come together.”

Toka says, “I have a lot of supporters it’s just a matter of finding them and getting them to sign a hard copied petition, but none the less we're gonna get there and there's a lot of ground work to be done but it's not gonna hold me back.”

Toka aims to reach 10,000 hand-written signatures on top of the online campaign and will take it to the NSW Parliament for debate.