Around this time last year, Al Siraat had 3 flag poles erected. They have been standing tall, but bare, at the front of the school since then, as COVID lockdowns prevented us from officially dedicating our flag poles.
That all changed this month, alhamdullilah. The flag poles have now been dedicated, and we are proudly flying the 3 main flags of Australia – the Australian National flag, Aboriginal flag, and Torres Strait Islander flag.
On Wednesday 11th May, we had a small ceremony to dedicate the flag poles, and raise the flags for the first time. The formalities commenced with a Smoking Ceremony by Jesse Gardiner and a Welcome to Country by Uncle Andrew Gardiner, both from the Wurundjeri Wilam people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land that ASC is located on. This was followed by a beautiful Quran recitation, before all 3 flags were raised simultaneously by Mr Andrew Giles MP (Australian National flag), Uncle Andrew Gardiner (Aboriginal flag) and Ms Rahat (Torres Strait Islanders flag).
In addition to our ASC Leadership Team and those mentioned above, the ceremony was attended by a small number of dignitaries, including Lydia Wilson from City of Whittlesea, Cherylyn Skewes from Independent Schools Victoria, and Kathleen Matthews-Ward who is the Labour Candidate for Broadmeadows as well as some of our student leaders, Ms Jedda as President of our PFC, the Media and Maintenance teams.
Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags demonstrates our pride and respect for the history, culture and contributions of Australia’s First Nations Peoples, and promotes a sense of community partnership.
Our College is in the process of creating a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags is one step in demonstrating our public commitment towards reconciliation, healing and truth telling.
We thank the Victorian State Government for their support of this process and ceremony, especially Mr Andrew Giles MP, whose office donated all three flags to our College.