Western Australian Police Force Shows Permanent Respect To Aboriginal People

All WA police stations will now permanently fly the Aboriginal flag. Image: AAP

All WA police stations will now permanently fly the Aboriginal flag. Image: AAP

Aboriginal flags will be flown permanently at all West Australian police stations as part of the force's Reconciliation Action Plan to improve relations with indigenous people. Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was an important move to show "we mean what we say".

"I want them to see respect, I want them to know that we're dinkum, that we're serious about it," Commissioner Dawson told ABC radio.

Commissioner Dawson's announcement comes almost 11 months after the Aboriginal flag was raised permanently outside the Western Australian Police headquarters in East Perth as he apologised to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders on behalf of the force.

At the moving ceremony, he said police had played a significant role in contributing to a traumatic history.

Commissioner Dawson reflected on that again on Tuesday, saying slow progress had been made since the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre, which saw dozens of Aboriginal people killed by soldiers and policemen, led by Governor James Stirling.

"We haven't done particularly well in the past 185 years," the commissioner said.

"We're improving but there's a lot of work to be done.

"It really hasn't been consolidated in a movement forward."

Other strategies in the plan include the ongoing push to raise the proportion of indigenous people in the force and possible Aboriginal language lessons for officers.

Source: SBS News

Emmanuel Economou