From: Defence Media
Date: Mon 4/07/2016 9:42 AM

Defence establishments across Darwin unite to acknowledge the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will fly permanently alongside the Australian National Flag at Defence establishments across Darwin following a ceremony today at Larrakeyah Barracks.

The change is part of the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-2018 which captures how Defence is deepening its awareness and appreciation of Indigenous culture across the organisation and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributions.

Plaques and signage honouring the Larrakia People as traditional custodians of the land have been installed at three Defence establishments in Darwin – Larrakeyah Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin and Defence Establishment Berrimah – and at Palmerston’s Robertson Barracks.

The plaque at Larrakeyah Barracks was unveiled today by His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM, the Administrator of the Northern Territory, along with elders of the Larrakia People.

Speaking at the ceremony Colonel Brian J Bailey, CSC, Senior Australian Defence Force Officer for Larrakeyah Barracks and Defence Establishment Berrimah indicated that the ceremony and the ongoing changes to Defence practise were an important and visible part of Defence’s commitment to reconciliation.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a rich history and a timeless connection with the land on which we work, and we encourage everyone in Defence to learn more about their culture and values,” Colonel Bailey said.

“As a culturally diverse organisation, we enhance our ability to draw on the different strengths and attributes of our workforce to achieve our goals.

“Our Reconciliation Plan certainly includes more than just plaques and flags, but these are tangible expressions that Defence values the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in times of peace and war,” he said.

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