WA police stations to fly Aboriginal flag

WA police stations to fly Aboriginal flag

ABORIGINAL flags will be flown permanently at all West Australian police stations as part the force’s Reconciliation Action Plan to improve relations with indigenous people.

Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was an important symbolic move to show “we mean what we say”.

“I want them to see respect, I want them to know that we’re dinkum, that we’re serious about it,” Mr Dawson told ABC radio.

It comes almost 11 months after the flag was raised permanently outside the WA Police headquarters in East Perth as Mr Dawson apologised to Aboriginal people and and Torres Strait Islanders on behalf of the force.

At the moving ceremony, he said police had played a significant role in contributing to a traumatic history.

Mr Dawson reflected on that again on Tuesday, saying slow progress had been made since the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre, which saw dozens of

Aboriginal people killed by soldiers and policemen, led by Governor James Stirling.

“We haven’t done particularly well in the past 185 years,” the commissioner said.

“We’re improving but there’s a lot of work to be done.

“It really hasn’t been consolidated in a movement forward.”

Other strategies in the plan include the ongoing push to raise the proportion of indigenous people in the force and possible Aboriginal language lessons for officers.