President Michael D. Higgins has praised the Australian embassy in Dublin for being the first in the world to fly that nation’s aboriginal flag.
ustralia’s Ambassador to Ireland, Gary Gray raised the flag alongside Australia’s Red Ensign during a virtual ceremony outside the embassy on St Stephen’s Green today.
The unique flag, featuring a black upper half, red lower half and golden circle in the middle, will be a permanent feature at the embassy.
Australian minister for indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt and Connacht rugby player John Porch took part in the ceremony which also featured pre-recorded videos from Australian aboriginal people living here.
President Higgins, meanwhile, congratulated the decision in a Twitter post today. He wrote: “The Embassy will today become the first Australian Embassy in the world to fly the Indigenous Aboriginal flag alongside the national flag, as a tribute to Australia’s first nation people.”
Meanwhile, Mr Gray said: “The acknowledgement of the historic and unique connection which Australian Aboriginal people have to the land and culture of our nation is utterly appropriate.”
“Though the flag has been flown from buildings in Australia and on specific dates elsewhere, the embassy in Dublin is among the first international posts to take the decision whereby the flag will fly with the Australian national flag all year round.”
“As with many countries around the world, some of Australia’s early history can be difficult to reconcile with the modern and open nation we have become today,” he said.
“Because of this, it was important to us to that the ceremony was both respectful and culturally sensitive as well as Covid-compliant. Working with the Aboriginal community here, as well as our minister Ken Wyatt, we are extremely proud to be able to recognise an integral part of Australia’s history and do our part in moving those conversations forward in a purposeful and thoughtful manner.”
Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Drivetime programme today, Mr Gray said: “We knew people would like it because it’s a serious statement of where our country is with respect to aboriginal people. “It’s not always been a great history. It’s a tough history, it’s a difficult history and we all have to deal with our history and to speak of it loudly and we need to acknowledge where we have failed.”
But he added: “We also need to be prepared to acknowledge the historic and unique connection which Australian Aboriginal people have to the land and the culture of our nation which is appropriate and why we’re glad to be doing this in Dublin.”
Source: Irish News