By Karen Buck
A BIG crowd was on hand last month to witness the historic raising of the Aboriginal flag outside the Shire of Plantagenet office, where it will fly proudly night and day.
The flag-raising ceremony coincided with National Reconciliation Week and was the result of positive community discussion and a petition, with more than 200 signatures.
Previously, the flag had only been flown on special occasions such as Sorry Day and during NAIDOC week.
Shire of Plantagenet Chief Executive Officer Rob Stewart said the decision to fly the Aboriginal flag permanently had attracted positive comments from the community. “We first talked about this a couple of years ago, opening up a community discussion on Facebook and the idea was well received,” he said.
Local Noongar Rheanna McCleery then sought guidance from Mr Stewart to progress the idea.
A petition with more than 200 signatures calling for the flag to be permanently flown outside the shire offices was subsequently presented.
Mr Stewart recommended the move to Council, which then held discussions with 14 representatives of the Mt Barker Noongar community.
The council also took the opportunity to erect a small permanent stage for the event, which will be used for citizenship ceremonies and Carols by Candlelight.