We acknowledge that the Kuarna People are the traditional custodians of the lands in which we live, pray and serve.
The Torres Strait Islands are to the north of Australia and are inhabited by the Torres Strait Islanders who are like the Aboriginal Peoples are Indigenous to Australia.
The Aboriginal Flag
The Aboriginal Flag was designed by Harold Thomas, an artist and an Aboriginal, in 1971. The flag was designed to be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the giver of life.
In the late 1960s, Aborigines stepped up their campaign for indigenous land rights through protest marches, demonstrations, banners and posters. The protests increased in the early 1970s and Harold Thomas noticed they were often outnumbered by non-Aborigines with their own banners and placards. He decided they needed to be more visible and the idea of the flag was born.
The Aboriginal flag was first raised in Victoria Square in Adelaide on National Aboriginal Day in 1971, but was adopted nationally by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in 1972 after it was flown above the Aboriginal “Tent Embassy” outside of the old Parliament House in Canberra.
The Torres Strait Islander Flag
The Torres Strait Islander flag is attributed to the late Bernard Namok of Thursday Island.
The flag is emblazoned with a white Dari (headdress) which is a symbol of Torres Strait Islanders. The white five pointed star beneath it symbolises the five major island groups and the navigational importance of stars to these seafaring people.
The green stripes represent the land, the black stripes represent the people, and the blue the sea. The flag as a whole symbolises the unity of all Torres Strait Islanders.
In view of its increasing importance in Australian society, the Government decided that the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander flags should be proclaimed a “Flag of Australia”. The flag was so proclaimed by the Governor General of Australia, William Hayden, on 14 July 1995.