30 July 2015
Australia is the most culturally and linguistically diverse nation in the world and each of us has our own traditions inherited from our forebears, especially our parents.
We are all responsible for keeping our traditions alive. Norfolk Island's local and family cultures based on personal experiences and traditions are not under threat through the economic and governance reform process.
Anniversary (Bounty) Day, Foundation Day, Show Day and Thanksgiving Day will continue to be public holidays. Traditional practice for funerals and for collecting materials for cultural craft as well as activities such as fishing, water recreation and camping can continue as they do in other parts of Australia.
The Norfolk Island flag can continue fly alongside the Australian flag as it always has. Advance Australia Fair is the national anthem but God Save the Queen, and the Pitcairn Anthem can still be sung on days of national or community significance.
The Norfolk language, can still be taught in the School, and the new Regional Council to be elected next year will still be able to use Norfolk in public signage and documentation.
The words of the now superseded Norfolk Island Act 1979 Preamble are significant to the history of Norfolk Island, and while it is time to move forward, this history should be acknowledged and preserved. The Advisory Council is working on an appropriate means for this to occur.
The cultural practices of communities big and small across the diverse Australian nation are also secured by respect for the difference in cultural practices of others. Sharing and displaying cultural practices is part of ensuring our cultural diversity is supported by all.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave
Territory of Norfolk Island