Monday 28 July 1997
True Reconciliation Can Only Take Place Under a Truly Australian Flag
The Chairman of ATSIC, Mr Gatjil Djerrkura OAM, said today:
"There can be no true reconciliation with the indigenous people of Australia while the Union Jack remains on the Australian flag."
At a Media Conference in Sydney today to announce that ATSIC had recently decided to support the Ausflag campaign for a truly Australian flag, and that Mr Djerrkura had joined the Ausflag Board, Mr Djerrkura said:
"To the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Union Jack is a constant reminder of oppression, domination, genocide and dispossession. There are people within our society who are using the current flag to increase divisions within our community.
"We are seeking a flag of unity and healing under which all Australians are represented equally. We call upon the Government and the people of Australia to share our vision and join the reconciliation process in designing and proclaiming our own flag."
Ausflag′s Letter to ATSIC
The ATSIC Board of Commissioners
A New Australian Flag - The True Symbol Of Reconciliation
Ausflag seeks the cooperation and formal support of ATSIC in the creation and adoption of a truly Australian flag. The reasons include:
A truly Australian flag, such as the national flags of the United States, Canada and South Africa (each formerly containing the Union Jack), representing the equality of all Australian citizens, subordinate to no other person or nation, will be the catalyst which will become the unequivocal symbol of Reconciliation, sovereignty, independence and nationhood.
We seek your endorsement of this project and look forward to the involvement of your many talented designers.
We also invite the Chairman of ATSIC, Mr Gatjil Djerrkura, to become a Director of Ausflag in order to assist us with the process of ensuring a truly Australian flag flies over Australia by the turn of the century. A list of the Board of Ausflag is attached.
Imagine the Day of Reconciliation, when a truly Australian Flag rises above us all; a flag of unity and reconciliation, expressing equal recognition and status for all the people and cultures who now inhabit this great continent of ours.
Due to previous engagements, our Co-Chairman, Mr Nick Greiner sends his apologies for being unable to attend your meeting. We thank you very much for the privilege of addressing the ATSIC Board of Commissioners.
With kind regards
Harold C W Scruby
18 June 1997
Reply from Gatjil Djerrkura, ATSIC Chair
Mr Harold Scruby
NEUTRAL BAY NSW 2089
Dear Mr Scruby,
Thank you for addressing the Board of Commissioners at the recent Board meeting in Canberra.
I am pleased to advise you that the Board endorsed the Ausflag project and agreed that I become a Director of Ausflag.
Gatjil Djerrkura OAM
26 June 1997