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Australia RSL bans Welcome to Country, Aboriginal flag at Anzac Day, Remembrance Day ceremonies in WA

23:45  20 february  2020
23:45  20 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Anzac Day Dawn Service–‘Reveille’. Anzac Day commemorative services and Remembrance Day commemorative Anzac Day and Remembrance Day commemorative services that are conducted on other days other than We welcome you to take our 20 second survey and help us improve the site.

a flag flying on a clear blue sky: The RSLWA has ruled only the Australian, NZ and WA flags may be flown on Anzac and Remembrance day, not the Aboriginal flag. (ABC News: Rhiannon Shine) © Provided by ABC NEWS The RSLWA has ruled only the Australian, NZ and WA flags may be flown on Anzac and Remembrance day, not the Aboriginal flag. (ABC News: Rhiannon Shine)

The WA branch of the RSL has banned the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at all of its Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

In a policy sparked by the performance on the Ode of Remembrance in an Aboriginal language last year, the veterans organisation said it did not support the performance of these ceremonies at any sites which commemorated those who died during war.

"While having utmost respect for the traditional owners of land upon which such sites and memorials are located, RSLWA does not view it appropriate that a Welcome to Country is used at sites that were specifically established to pay homage to those who died and who came from a wide range of cultural backgrounds," the policy stated.

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ANZAC Day and Australia Day are the two most important dates when it comes to speaking up about At ANZAC services around Australia , the spotlight was put on these servicemen because for Welcome to Country is an independent Indigenous news/media website. Our focus is on news

To this day Ceremonies play a very important part in Australian Aboriginal peoples’ culture. Ceremonies , or rituals, are still performed in parts of In marriage ceremonies the Aboriginal people are adorned with body paint and wear traditional headdress. Moiety is a form of social organisation in

The WA branch of the RSL introduces a new policy banning the performance of Welcomes to Country ceremonies at all of its Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies, along with the flying of the Aboriginal flag. © ABC News Images The WA branch of the RSL introduces a new policy banning the performance of Welcomes to Country ceremonies at all of its Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies, along with the flying of the Aboriginal flag.

The new policy was developed after the Anzac dawn service in Fremantle last year, where Aboriginal elder Professor Len Collard read the ode in Noongar language.

Professor Collard, who has spent much of his career preserving Noongar language, translated the ode from English.

RSLWA chief executive John McCourt said some of his members told the board that this was not appropriate.

English only, no Aboriginal flags

In response, the board developed a new policy around RSLWA-conducted commemorations of Anzac and Remembrance Days which includes the following points:

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What happens on Remembrance Day ? The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family join political leaders, current and ex-members of the Armed Forces and The Queen and Members of the Royal Family attended a number of engagements each year in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday.

The Aboriginal Flag : Symbolism, History and Meaning. The final performance will occur at 7am on ANZAC Day and will follow a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony . Ash is also hopeful this initiative could grow to other Indigenous communities across Australia .

  • All content, bar the New Zealand national anthem, is to be presented or sung in English
  • Only the Australian, New Zealand and WA flags may be flown
  • No Welcome to Country and/or Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies
  • Respecting the right of regal, vice-regal and government representatives to use the Acknowledgement of Country but not at the dawn service or services at recognised war memorials

Mr McCourt said that the board could withdraw its support for an Anzac or Remembrance Day ceremony if it did not comply with the RSLWA policies.

But he said these strict conditions only related to these specific days.

"All the RSL is asking for is two days," he said.

The WA branch of the RSL introduces a new policy banning the performance of Welcomes to Country ceremonies at all of its Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies, along with the flying of the Aboriginal flag. © ABC News Images The WA branch of the RSL introduces a new policy banning the performance of Welcomes to Country ceremonies at all of its Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies, along with the flying of the Aboriginal flag.

The policy states the RSLWA "remains appalled" at the discrimination suffered by Aboriginal people after they returned from World War I.

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Remembrance Day Ceremony : Book free tickets here. For those without internet access, please Guests are welcome to wear service medals as appropriate and should seek further advice here Commemorative ceremonies , such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day share many customs and

Flag desecration is the desecration of a flag , violation of flag protocol, or a various set of acts that intentionally destroy, damage, or mutilate a flag in public.

But it notes there has been a trend in recent years to add cultural elements to commemoration ceremonies.

"While it is important to recognise cultural and ethnic contributions to the defence of Australia, it is also important to maintain Anzac Day and Remembrance Day as occasions to express unity, a time when all Australians — irrespective of race, culture or religion — come together to remember and reflect," it says.

The policy also states the organisation respects the rights of other groups to include Welcome to Country ceremonies in their Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Welcome to Country to continue in Fremantle service

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettit said the city would continue to hold a Welcome to Country before its Anzac Day ceremony, as it had for many years.

Dr Pettit said he respected the ode should be read in English but did not rule out it being read in another language as well.

"Our ceremonies have always been very respectful and inclusive and we will continue to do so," he said.

Fremantle hosts several Anzac Day ceremonies each year, including the dawn service on Memorial Hill and a march through the main streets.

Perth's Anzac Day dawn service in Kings Park last year was followed by a combined haka and corroboree, performed by members of the local Maori and Indigenous communities.

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