Torres Strait Islander flag flies in Rockingham

THE Torres Strait Islander flag was raised outside the City of Rockingham’s administration building for the first time earlier this week.

The flag will be a fixture during the first week of each month at the City’s administration building, with the Aboriginal flag to be flown for the remainder of the month.

Indigenous Commonwealth Games hurdler and Baldivis resident Shannon McCann had the honour of raising the flag for the first time on Monday.

“Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags is the result of significant collaboration and consultation with the local Aboriginal community” City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said.

“It is part of our Reconciliation Action Plan and engages with the community, especially the Aboriginal people living in the City of Rockingham.”

The flag was officially recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 1992 and was given equal prominence with the Aboriginal Flag.

The flag represents key elements of the Torres Strait Island culture, with the two green lines representing mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea, the blue representing Torres Strait waters and the black lines representing the Torres Strait people.

The central symbol, the Dhari, is the ceremonial headdress of Torres Strait Islands, and the five-pointed star represents the five major island groups of Torres Strait.

About 48,000 Australians are of Torres Strait Island heritage.