For the first time in more than 20 years, the NAIDOC Week flag raising ceremony is taking place at View Point, Lake Wendouree, rather than Queen Victoria Square.
The flag poles will be a new permanent location for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags in Ballarat, a continual acknowledgement of the land’s Traditional Owners.
The decision to have the flags located at the new site was made in conjunction with the Wadawurrung Corporation, the Koori Engagement and Action Group, and council’s Indigenous Liaison Officer.
The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is Heal Country – which calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney, said flying the flags at the lake on a permanent basis is just one way council continues to work with First Nations people to elevate Indigenous culture.
“This is not only because Lake Wendouree is a place of cultural significance but also because these wonderful new flag poles have been erected here to allow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to fly with great pride,” he said.
“Every year, the City of Ballarat works with community partners to deliver an annual NAIDOC Week program of events, as we strongly believe this is a time for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to celebrate and be proud of their cultures, and for the wider community to share this pride and respect our shared history that goes back tens of thousands of years.”
Celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged and often organised by communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces.
NAIDOC Week events in Ballarat this year include an online storytime with the Mayor, Smoking Ceremony and Acknowledgement of Country at Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, Elders Day, a movie night, and much more.