Government House Flag Raising Ceremony
Barry Winmar and the Ngalak Nidja dancers at the Government House Flag Raising Ceremony

Government House Flag Raising Ceremony

For the first time, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags fly permanently at Government House, following an official flag raising ceremony this morning.

In front of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, Parliamentarians, former Governors and community representatives, the new flag poles and Flag Garden were unveiled on the northern facing side of Government House, facing St Georges Terrace.

Barry Winmar, accompanied by the Ngalak Nidja dancers, gave a warm Welcome to Country, speaking of Noongar Country.

We respect the earth our mother and understand that we belong to her – she does not belong to us. In all her beauty, we find comfort, wellbeing, and life that creates a home for everyone that has become a keeper of Noongar Country.

The Governor then spoke of the land, being a place of ceremonial significance and heritage where Aboriginal people walked and gathered for thousands of years. He also spoke of the significant events that took place on these lands, including when the Whadjuk Noonjar people met Captain James Stirling, the first Governor of the State of Western Australia.

This land I am standing on is very special to all West Australians.
It is a place of ceremonial significance for all people. It is also a place of our history in the past, present and for the future.

The raising of these four flags should be recognised as yet another step in our walk together in reconciling our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of Australia. Simply put, it is the right thing to do.

The Royal Australian Navy Band, with indigenous Navy Officer Layton Robbins on didgeridoo, played the National Anthem as the Australian national flag, Western Australian state flag, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were raised, followed by a celebratory cultural performance by Jayden Boundry, Ngalak Nidja dancers and Barry Winmar.

From this day forward, the four flags will fly together in perpetuity at Government House and will be lit at night.

Photos: Matt Jelonek

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