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The Aboriginal Flag flying over the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Aboriginal flag will fly permanently over the Harbour Bridge by the end of the year

Some $25-million has been allocated in the state government's latest budget to erect a third flag pole

Maxim Boon
Written by
Maxim Boon

It has taken years of campaigning but at long last, the Aboriginal flag will permanently fly atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge by the end of 2022. $25-million has been allocated in the NSW government’s 2022-23 budget for the installation of a third flag pole so that the national and state flags can continue to fly, although the installation of the six-storey pole will require “complex engineering”. Previously, the state flag was replaced by the Aboriginal flag for just 19 days a year. 

Premier Dominic Perrottet said of the decision to fly the flag permanently, which had been resisted by many of his predecessors: "Our Indigenous history should be celebrated and acknowledged, so young Australians understand the rich and enduring culture that we have here with our past.” While he noted that it would require some complex plans to achieve, Perrottet also expressed his surprise that adding a single flag pole to a bridge built with century-old engineering had been considered, until now, too difficult to accomplish. 

The most notable campaign to lobby the government to have the flag erected was spearheaded by Kamilaroi woman Cheree Toka, who collected more than 170,000 signatures on a petition to the NSW government. Last month, the NSW government also formalised the return of Me-Mel, otherwise known as Goat Island, to the traditional landowners.

Celebrate Australia's rich First Nations culture at these exhibitions of Aboriginal art at Sydney's top galleries.

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