When the Aboriginal flag was raised this week to fly permanently over Parliament House, Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed was there with Yorta Yorta senior elder Paul Briggs.
Ms Sheed later spoke in parliament acknowledging that many local organisations had already decided to fly the Aboriginal flag permanently on their public buildings, including the Greater Shepparton City Council which has flown that flag since December 2006.
“The Shepparton district electorate sits in the region that has the highest indigenous population living outside Melbourne and while this was a very symbolic event we must not lose sight of the fact that there is still much to be done to ensure justice and recognition for our first Peoples.”
In parliament Ms Sheed went on to say, Aboriginal people in our own state are working hard to achieve better outcomes in their own communities.
“I see this in my electorate. So many policies of the past have not achieved their desired outcomes no matter how well-meaning they may have been at the time.
“Now new regional models are being devised from within our Aboriginal communities. These initiatives should be supported and the knowledge and contributions of the elders of these communities acknowledged.
As the flag rose above Parliament house, Paul Briggs, commented to Ms Sheed “Another step forward.”
The top half of the aboriginal flag is black to symbolise Indigenous people and the red of the lower half represents the earth the colour of ochre, used in many Aboriginal ceremonies and the circle of yellow in the centre of the flag represents the sun.
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