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Biloela State School proud to fly indigenous flags

FLYING PROUDLY: The three new flags will fly side-by-side each day.
FLYING PROUDLY: The three new flags will fly side-by-side each day. Andrew Thorpe

BILOELA State School has taken another step along the path to reconciliation, raising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags alongside the national flag on three new flag poles for the first time this morning.

The flags are visible from the Dawson Hwy and fly at an equal height over the school sign.

Principal Anne Saunders said raising all three flags together showed the school's recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first Australians.

"Raising these flags here today demonstrates the commitment of the community of Biloela State School to working together,” she said.

"It's a really important part of embedding Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cultures into schools.”

The school previously had one flag pole for the national flag near the parade area and a separate pole for the Aboriginal flag located elsewhere.

Mrs Saunders said the change came about after conversations with members of the school community.

"It wasn't a directive given to schools... the community decided it was something that is important to them,” she said.

"We also have quite a few Torres Strait Islander students whose flag wasn't anywhere.

"Feeling safe and welcome at school is very important for everybody.”

RAISING US UP: Biloela State School students prepare to raise the flags for the first time.
RAISING US UP: Biloela State School students prepare to raise the flags for the first time. Andrew Thorpe

The flags will be raised and lowered each day by students, who feel a sense of responsibility when chosen for the task, according to Mrs Saunders.

"We actually use it as a bit of a 'getting to school on time' incentive,” she said.

"Taking them down at night is really important because flags can't be flown at night unless they're illuminated.”

Biloela State School has 65 indigenous students, around 15% of the school's population - significantly more than the state's average.

Topics:  aboriginal flag biloela state school torres strait islander flag


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