School raises equality flag

Albert Dean Yr 12 prefect, John McGuire, Stephen Webber (principal), Akram Azimi, Dylan Collard and Andre Beck
Albert Dean Yr 12 prefect, John McGuire, Stephen Webber (principal), Akram Azimi, Dylan Collard and Andre Beck

A service was held last month to raise the flag alongside the school and State flags, and to launch the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

The flag-raising was the first step on the journey.

Principal Stephen Webber said it was a logical step for the school, which has a history of inspirational indigenous students.

‘We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to this plan,’ Mr Webber said.

‘We had a number of former indigenous students attend the ceremony and serve as guest speakers, such as Dylan Collard, an old boy of the school and Wadjuk-Ballardong Nyoongar, who is studying law and politics at UWA, and also 2013 Young Australian of the Year, Azram Azimi. It was great to see everyone together.’

The vision of the plan is to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders as the first Australians, support their right to express their culture, and strive to close the gap between educational achievements.

The plan was developed over several months and the committee will meet twice a year.

The first Aboriginal student to attend the school was Charles Burns from 1905-1909.

The school has had more than 150 indigenous students during its 117 years of operation, including 25 now enrolled.