RESIDENTS, staff members and visitors were on hand at Wongaburra this morning to officially hoist the Aboriginal flag outside the aged care facility on Brisbane Street.
Mununjali elders were in attendance to show their approval for the event, which sees the black, yellow and red representing Indigenous peoples, yellow sun and red dust take its rightful place next to the Australian flag.
Auntie Geraldine Paige said the elders had been approached by Wongaburra after Indigenous residents had raised the question of why there was no Aboriginal flag on display.
“There was some talk of raising the flag on Australia Day but decided today was more appropriate,” she said.
Wongaburra resident and Mununjali elder Peter Coolwell said he was happy to finally see the flag flying proudly.
“Mununjali are good people and we should be recognised,” said Uncle Peter.
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Auntie Barbara Coolwell, who also resides at Wongaburra, said it was a good thing to have the flag raised before Australia Day.
“This is my home here,” she said. “It’s right to have the flag up.”
After a short speech and Welcome to Country, local artist Derek Fogarty hoisted the flag to much applause from the small crowd.
Mr Fogarty reminisced about donating a painting to Wongaburra 17 years ago.
Beaudesert Hospital’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officer Sharne Iselin said he would like to see the flag flying at other facilities too.
“It’s a way to recognise that Aboriginal people are here and we’re not going anywhere,” Mr Iselin said.
“We’ll be here another 100,000 years more.”
Speaking on behalf of Wongaburra management, education officer Joan Hawkins said they were glad to show respect to Indigenous people who had chosen to make Wongaburra their home.
““It has been a long time coming,” she said.
“We feel privileged and honoured to have the flag flying here.”