The new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has made a significant change to the podium where the Australian Prime Minister holds press conferences.
Ahead of his first address to the nation since being sworn in on Monday, Albanese’s staff replaced two of the three Australian flags behind the podium in Parliament with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, with the Aboriginal flag placed on the center.
Albanese did not make any announcement about the change of flags on the podium before holding the press conference.
The decision to display the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags has been described as a “monumental” step towards race relations in Australia.
Two Australian flags on the press conference podium in parliament have been replaced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Australian of the Year Grace Tame tweeted a photo of the backdrop along with the caption: “Always was, always will be”, a powerful statement implying that Australian land is Aboriginal and always will be.
Many other Australians applauded the move.
“Seeing the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag behind Prime Minister Albanese made me cry,” one wrote.
Another said: ‘It’s amazing to see the three flags at the first press conference, with the Aboriginal flag in the centre!’
“An important symbol – the Aboriginal flag is front and center and hopefully a sincere recognition to the traditional owners, the heart of this land,” wrote one Australian.
Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame has shown her support for Anthony Albanese’s decision to put the Aboriginal flag at the center of his press conferences as prime minister.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison held his press conferences in front of the Australian flag, without the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the background.
Before his first press conference, Prime Minister Albanese had the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags placed in the press conference room, which previously only had the Australian flag.
The monumental change comes after the Labor Party announced it had taken a step forward to “deliver on the promise of the Uluru Declaration from the Heart”.
The Uluru Statement proposes to introduce an Aboriginal voice in Parliament into the Australian constitution, and the ALP has committed to implementing it in full.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was drawn up in 2017 by Aboriginal elders and presented as a petition by the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, which took place over four days.
The group met with more than 1,200 people across the country and drafted the declaration, which calls for a “First Nations Voice” in the Australian Constitution.
It calls for a monitored “deal-making” process between the Australian government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives to ensure the country is universally governed.
It is a ‘statement of recognition’ calling for a Makarrata Commission to participate in and oversee decision-making affecting Aboriginal Australians.
‘Makarrata’ is a Yolngu word that means to come together after a fight or dispute to make peace.
In its Indigenous policy, Labor has committed to establishing a Makarrata Commission, which will develop a national framework for treaty-making and support and fund local truth-telling efforts, in partnership with First Nations groups and local communities.
‘In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we sought to be heard. We leave the base camp and begin our trek through this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future,’ reads the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In 2021, he received the Sydney Peace Prize and was center stage in Anthony Albanese’s historic maiden speech as Australian Prime Minister.
‘We can protect universal retirement. And we can include universal child care in that proud tradition. Together we can solve the crisis in senior care. Together we can make equal opportunities for women a national economic and social priority. “Together we can and will create a national anti-corruption commission,” she said in her victory speech Saturday night.
‘Together we can be a self-sufficient and resilient nation, confident in our values and our place in the world. And together we can embrace the Uluru Declaration from the heart.”