Sydney Councils to lower flags to half-mast following Voice defeat
By JUSTIN COOPER
Sydney Councils have announced they will lower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to half-mast, following an announced grieving period for Indigenous Communities after the Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum defeat.
The Yes23 campaign have declared a Week of Silence from Saturday night. During this time, the flags are to be flown at half-mast, with groups requesting others follow through.
City of Sydney and Inner West Councils have announced they will stand in solidarity, lowering flags located at town halls across their local government areas, respectively.
Councils in solidarity
Posting to social media, City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced her reaction to the “devastating and tragic” result.
“I acknowledge the harmful toll the Referendum has taken, and I stand with you in grief,” said Moore.
“The Yes23 campaign have called for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to fly at half-mast, and I will support that call.”
In statment to Sydney Morning Herald, a City of Sydney Spokesperson confirmed the Lord Mayor’s response.
“We will be lowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to half-mast at Sydney Town Hall and Redfern Community Centre, in response to requests from the Indigenous community,” said the spokesperson.
Inner West Council will also be following the requests. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Leichhardt Town Hall being lowered today, October 15, and other flags across the area will be lowered from Monday, for the next week.
“Showing respect and solidarity to Indigenous people, who will be really hurting today, is the right thing to do. Compassion costs us nothing,” says Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.
“We hope other organisations will also act on their request,” he continued.
Week of silence
The announcement posted to social media by Yes23 Co-Chair Rachel Perkins, was a statment from “Indigenous Australians who supported the Voice Referendum.”
“Now is the time for silence, to mourn and deeply consider the consequence of this outcome,” the statement read.
“Much will be asked about the role of racism and prejudice against Indigenous people in this result. The only thing we ask is that each and every Australian who voted in this election reflect hard on this question,” the statement continued.
“The truth is that we offered this recognition and it has been refused. We now know where we stand in this our own country. Always was. Always will be.”
The statement explained the Week of Silence has commenced from Saturday, October 14, and requested comments from the community regarding the result will not be provided during this time.