NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK: Kepnock State High School students Kiara Jorgensen and Leilani Little at the flag raising ceremony in Buss Park.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK: Kepnock State High School students Kiara Jorgensen and Leilani Little at the flag raising ceremony in Buss Park. Ashley Clark

RECONCILIATION: Day of understanding in Bundaberg

"LET'S not make history a mystery”.

Those were the words from Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey as crowds gathered at Buss Park today to celebrate Reconciliation Week.

A flag raising ceremony, accompanied by traditional Indigenous dancing, speeches and more was held on the grounds at 10am to encourage residents to explore and better understand Australia's indigenous history.

"It's just fantastic to see such a large group of the community turning out for Reconciliation Week,” Cr Demspey said.

"We want to make sure that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history is no longer a mystery right across the whole of the Bundaberg region.

"Today, to come together with local indigenous people from around the region, to be united, it sends a strong message that we are going to work forward with confidence and positivity to ensure young people have a greater hope for the future.”

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK:  Steve Beer, Ashley Eggmolesse, Matt Nagas, Suellen Mewburn and David Rouse at the flag raising ceremony in Buss Park.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK: Steve Beer, Ashley Eggmolesse, Matt Nagas, Suellen Mewburn and David Rouse at the flag raising ceremony in Buss Park. Ashley Clark

Cr Dempsey said Bundaberg had a rich history within the local indigenous community and the raising of the three flags, Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, was a sign of a great future to come.

"We see signs and symbols every day- what we see today is the community coming together and being united,” he said.

Gidarjil Development Corporation's Belle Wilson said the flag raising ceremony held a lot of meaning for her.

"It is recognition for the wider community to realise what our elders have done to get us where we are today,” she said.

When it came to elder recognition, Ms Wilson said Australia had come a long way but there was still a long way to go.

"I think it is a growing thing, that people are starting to recognise what our elders have done from the Freedom Riot to voting,” she said.

Ms Wilson said more education was key to getting the recognition deserved.

"I think it is important because in schools we are not told the true hidden histories of Australia,” she said.

"I think once that is brought into the curriculum everybody will understand the issues that everyone has gone through.

"I think education is the key because then you have informed opinions and decisions and you can understand where everyone is coming from.”

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK: The flag raising ceremony in Buss Park, Bundaberg.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK: The flag raising ceremony in Buss Park, Bundaberg. Ashley Clark


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