Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health


Canberra Health Services and the ACT Health Directorate acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land we walk upon today. We respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and surrounding region.

For further details regarding an Acknowledgement of Country or Welcome to Country, please see our cultural protocols page.

The information contained in this section aims to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with information on health issues, health organisations, policies and research, and cultural events of significance.

The Aboriginal Flag


Reproduced by permission Harold Thomas ©1971

The flag is divided horizontally into equal halves of black (top), red (bottom), and a yellow circle in the centre. The black symbolises Aboriginal people, and the yellow is the sun. Red depicts the earth and represents ochre, which is used by Aboriginal people in ceremonies.

The flag was first flown at Victoria Square, Adelaide, on 'National Aboriginal Day' on 12 July 1971. It was later used at the tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

Today the flag has been adopted by all Aboriginal groups and is flown or displayed permanently at Aboriginal centres throughout Australia.

The Torres Strait Islander Flag


The Torres Strait Islander flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok of Thursday Island, the flag stands for the unity and identity of all Torres Strait Islander people.

It features 3 horizontal coloured stripes, with green at the top and bottom and blue in between - divided by thin black lines. A white dari (headdress) is a symbol for all Torres Strait Islander people and sits in the centre with a 5 pointed star underneath it.

The colour green represents the land, black represents the people, blue is for the sea and the white of the star represents peace.

The 5 pointed star represents the island groups. The star is an important symbol for seafaring Torres Strait Islander people as it is used in navigation.

News Alerts

2018 National Reconciliation Week Theme - Don’t Keep History a Mystery - 27 May to 3 June

2018 NAIDOC Week Theme – Because of her, we can! – 8 July to 15 July

ACTCOSS Gulanga Program – Workshops & Seminars

Recognising & Responding to Trauma: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children & Families - 12 September 2018


Page last updated on: 22 May 2019