Whittlesea Primary School assistant principal Rae Gittos, back left, and principal Ty Hoggins, back right, with students who attended the campfire conversation earlier on the day of the flag raising.

By Max Davies

WHITTLESEA Primary School last week unfurled new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags that will fly alongside the Australian flag at the front of the school.

Indigenous families and students were invited to attend a campfire conversation prior to the flag unveiling, encouraging people to discuss ideas for better inclusivity for Indigenous people within the school curriculum.

Principal Ty Hoggins said the event and flags were important for the communities of the school and the Whittlesea area.

“We will be displaying the Torres Strait Islander flag and the Aboriginal flag at the front of our school to show that we care about those cultures, that we’re inclusive and that we’re a welcoming space for everybody in our community,” he said.

“It’s a special day for us, it’s part of what we’ve been doing around naming our houses and now the flags are an additional special thing for our school.”

The school raised more than $3500 through various fundraisers to fund the new flagpoles as well as general improvements to the surrounding area including new floodlights, allowing the flags to stay raised permanently.

Mr Hoggins thanked the parent gardening group and everyone who attended the school’s working bee to help clear the flag area of weeds and improve the area.

“There are big floodlights at the front and there are lights for each flagpole, and at the end of the day you’re meant to bring the flag down when it gets dark and pack it away,” he said.

“But if your flagpole has lights on it, you can leave the flags up all the time. So now it means that every day and night we can show our local community that we’re proud Australians and we’re also proud of our Indigenous culture by flying the three flags.”

The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Department of Education, Whittlesea Primary School council and Whittlesea Secondary College.

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