First community flag raising will support diversity

Rainbow flag.jpg

A new pole at the Camperdown Court House will literally fly the flag for community.

Its first use will be on Tuesday May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The new pole is a result of requests from the community to fly special flags on certain occasions, such as the Scottish Flag during the Robert Burns Scottish Festival or symbolic flags for campaigns such as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

Youth Mayor Tess Lourey said the Youth Council had requested the rainbow flag be flown on IDAHOBIT Day to recognise the international day to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community.

“One of the issues that we found when developing the Shire’s ‘SYNC Youth Strategy’ was that many of our young people saw a need for greater acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community,” Ms Lourey said.

“Flying the flag on IDAHOBIT day is a really important way we can stand with the gender diverse people in our community and help them feel safe and included.

“It helps educate people and raise awareness of the work still needed to combat discrimination.

“Being able to be yourself is a fundamental human right and essential to mental health and wellbeing.

“We invite members of the community to come along at 3:30 pm on Tuesday 17 for a short flag raising ceremony at 4 pm.”

IDAHOBIT started in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

Mayor Ruth Gstrein said Council adopted an updated ‘Flying of Flags Policy’ in February so requests from the community could be handled fairly and consistently.

“The new pole has been installed next to the courthouse so we can celebrate different groups in our community,” Cr Gstrein said.

“It is set aside from the Civic Centre flagpoles because only official flags of nations recognised by Australia can be flown beside the Commonwealth flag.

Under the policy only local communities or internationally, nationally or state recognised days and activities are eligible for consideration.

The flying of a community flag must:

  • promote respect for all;
  • be part of an event or ceremony;
  • be consistent with Council’s values and policies; and
  • embrace a sense of belonging and enhanced community life.

The ‘Flying of Flags Policy’ can be found here.

To apply for a flag to be flown, fill in the online form here

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