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CFA flies flag with pride
During NAIDOC Week celebrations, CFA is proud to announce that the Aboriginal flag will be flown permanently at headquarters, regional offices and large fire stations throughout Victoria.
CFA Chief Executive Officer Frances Diver said this initiative was part of CFA’s commitment to Aboriginal inclusion through its Koori Inclusion Action Plan (KIAP).
“Over the next 12 months, flags will be flown at more than 100 CFA locations where flag poles are available,” Frances said.
“For our brigades without a flag pole, we will invest in Traditional Owner plaques at the front door of each.”
Launched in 2015, KIAP outlines 20 key actions that CFA is implementing to improve Aboriginal inclusion and engagement.
Key advisor to CFA’s KIAP and one of CFA’s first Aboriginal members Professor Henry Atkinson said for Aboriginal people the flag was a powerful symbol of cultural safety and respect.
He said that flying flags at CFA stations showed that CFA acknowledges and respects the Traditional Owners of the land.
Frances Diver said this was a significant step forward for CFA as it moved towards becoming a more inclusive and welcoming organisation.
“Cultural safety is one of the most critical elements in people accessing CFA services and joining up as a member,” Frances said.
“Flying the Aboriginal flag is a significant means of demonstrating our recognition of Aboriginal people and being more welcoming to the Aboriginal community.”
The Aboriginal Flag is an official flag in Australia and was recognised under Federal legislation in July 1995. Designed by Aboriginal Elder Harold Thomas in 1971, this flag symbolises Aboriginal identity.
The top half of the flag is black to represent the Aboriginal people. The red in the lower half represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in Aboriginal ceremonies. The circle of yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre.