Flags fly high at Gympie school
TEN years ago Gympie State High School first flew the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags along side the Australian flag in a bid to help the reconciliation process.
Since then the school has continued the tradition and yesterday held a flag raising ceremony to mark the day.
Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss was on hand to present the school with three brand new flags for the event.
He did so in front of Gympie High’s indigenous population and school leaders who stood along side local indigenous elders Aunty Lillian and Aunty Barb.
After the flags were raised by students Aunty Lillian spoke of the importance of the indigenous flags and their meaning to the aboriginal people.
She said the aboriginal flag was first flown in 1971 and was designed by Harold Thomas.
The black on the flag represented the people, the red the earth and the yellow the sun.
She said the white head dress on the Torres Strait Islander flag represented the islands, the green the land, the blue the sea and the black the island people.
Mr Truss also spoke about the importance of the three flags and urged the Gympie High School community to “fly them with pride”.
“They are symbols of what is good about our country,” he said.
Gympie State High School deputy principal Glenys Chatman said the ceremony was part of their Naidoc Week celebrations.
She said Naidoc Week falls in the school holidays so the school decided to celebrate yesterday.
“It has been 10 years since we first raised three flags together,” Mrs Chatman said.
“It was a good opportunity to renew the flags and our commitment as a school to reconciliation,” she said.