UnitingCare West marks National Apology Day with flagraising ceremony in Merriwa

UnitingCare West in Merriwa. Photo: Martin Kennealey
UnitingCare West in Merriwa. Photo: Martin Kennealey

UNITINGCARE West held a flag-raising ceremony at its Merriwa hub to coincide with National Apology Day today and demonstrate its commitment to reconciliation.

The February 13 event involved raising the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on new flagpoles at the outer north hub on Baltimore Parade.

National Apology Day is the anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivering the National Apology in Parliament to Australia’s First Peoples.

Manager Tracy Tuari said it was a significant day for the Merriwa area as the flags would be a prominent acknowledgement that the hub was situated on Noongar country.

Josey Hansen (Cultural Architect UnitingCare West). Photo: Martin Kennealey

“The surrounding community, our staff and the local people we serve have been consulted about the flag poles and are very excited to see them installed and the flags raised,” she said.

Wanneroo Deputy Mayor Natalie Sangalli with Tracy Tuari (place manager UnitingCare West,outer north hub). Photo: Martin Kennealey

“Through conversations with our Aboriginal clients and local elders, we are confident that the flags will be a visible symbol of respect and inclusion of first peoples and will raise the profile of the services we deliver from the hub.”

Yanchep Lagoon primary and secondary students. Photo: Martin Kennealey

Ms Tuari said UnitingCare West received Naidoc funding for the project and thanked COLAB Australia for its help connecting the charity with ENGenuity Engineering, which provided pro-bono support to develop engineering reports for the local council.

Brooklyn Hill and Baoyi Wang (Merriwa Primary School), Mia Kenney(Yanchep Lagoon Primary School) and Belinda Johnson (Yanchep Secondary College) and Austin Dean and Makayla Benoiton (North Shore Christian Grammer School). Photo: Martin Kennealey

“There was more to the project than we initially thought, but it was a great example of the community and our supporters coming together to make it work,” she said.