I was delighted this morning to commemorate Australian National Flag Day in the forecourt of the Camberwell Civic Precinct.
Joining me were a number of my fellow Councillors, State Member for Hawthorn John Pesutto, our joint Citizen of the Year Jan Dimmick, and perhaps most importantly, several Boroondara community members and some leaders of tomorrow from local schools.
National Flag Day commemorates the occasion the Australian national flag was flown for the first time on 3 September 1901 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
We chose to recognise the occasion a couple of days early so that we could invite local schools and community members to be involved.
A flag can say a lot about a country. Ours is full of symbolism.
The Federation star has seven points representing the unity of the states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Union Jack represents the history of British settlement.
And the Southern Cross featured on the flag is a constellation of five stars that can only be seen from the southern hemisphere - a reminder of Australia’s geography.
Our flag is an expression of Australian identity and pride.
It’s paraded by our defence forces and displayed around the country at sporting events and by service organisations, schools, community groups and private citizens.
Merchant Navy Day is also commemorated on 3 September so today we had a double celebration. We took the opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of our merchant mariners and to remember the vital contributions made by those who served in the Australian and allied Merchant Navies during the wars.
Today’s event was a fitting reminder that we have a lot to be proud of as a community and that we should find occasions to celebrate that whenever we can.
Cr Phillip Healey