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Traditional owners are acknowledged In Parliament, May 2007

On the 147th anniversary of the first sitting of the Queensland Parliament, the Speaker Mike Reynolds said he hoped that Indigenous Queenslanders will feel a greater sense of connection to their Parliament.

This followed the Speaker’s introduction of two historic and significant initiatives which includes acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Parliament meets each sitting day and flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags daily outside Parliament House in Brisbane.

As the centre of government in Queensland, Mr Reynolds said it was important that the Parliament led the way on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders.

From today, Mr Reynolds has ordered that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags be flown in front of Parliament House everyday.

"The flags will be a reminder to those inside the Parliament that they are charged with making decisions for all Queenslanders, including Indigenous Queenslanders, as well as being a symbol to all Queenslanders that the Parliament exists for the benefit of the entire community".

Joined by the President of the Brisbane Council of Elders, Aunty Valda Coolwell and a representative of Torres Strait Islander peoples, Thomas Sebasio, Mr Reynolds hoisted the flags onto flag poles outside the George Street entrance to the Queensland Parliament.

Inside the Legislative Assembly Chamber, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will also be displayed on a permanent basis with the Queensland and Australia flags.  

Mr Reynolds also acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which the Parliament meets.

"This is a historic occasion for the Queensland Parliament, and for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders, as this will be the first formal acknowledgement by the Speaker in the Legislative Assembly’s 147 year history of the Parliament’s traditional owners and custodians.

"This will be my practice each sitting day while I am Speaker and I hope that it will become the practice of Speakers for ever more.

These initiatives at the Queensland Parliament are occurring during its celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and Reconciliation Week 2007 and come ahead of the Parliament’s launch of a major new community engagement strategy aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, young and regional Queenslanders. This strategy is expected to be released later this year.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners