MEDIA RELEASE

Sunday 25 January 1998

The Australian Flag - Professional Design Competition and Exhibition Launch at the Museum of Sydney

Dr Lois O′Donoghue CBE AM, (former ATSIC Chairman) and Co-chairmen of Ausflag, the Hon Nick Greiner AC and Dr Nicholas Whitlam said today: "True reconciliation with the indigenous people of Australia will not be achieved until we have a National Flag which represents all Australians equally,"

In June 1997, members of the Design Institute of Australia, the Australian Graphic Design Association, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Australian Writers and Art Directors, the Australian Textile Design Association, the Flag Society of Australia and the Society of Interior Designers of Australia were invited by Ausflag to enter the abovementioned Competition. Over 2,500 entries were received.

"The competition was a challenge to Australia′s professional designers to design a flag that represents and unites all Australians. The brief was to produce a design which reflects and embraces: Australian identity, distinctiveness among the world′s national flags, simplicity, clarity of colour, timelessness, the rules of heraldry as they apply to form and colour, ease and cost of manufacture, respect for the history, institutions and character of Australians and a united Australia," they said.

In October 1997, the judges, representing the abovementioned organisations; Mr Russell Bevers, Mr Michael Bryce, Mr Tony Burton, Ms Louise Cox, Ms Janne Faulkner, Mr Ron Hurley and Mr Harold Scruby, chose the best 100 designs.

"The Competition and Exhibition was sponsored by Apple Computer Australia, Salmat, Fuji Xerox Australia, John Holland Industries and Flash Graphics with great assistance from the Art Gallery of Western Australia, all of whom provided substantial resources and funding, without which this event would not have been possible," they said.

In the search for Our Own Flag and in the spirit of reconciliation, this exhibition will be officially opened simultaneously `coast-to-coast′ in Sydney, at the Museum of Sydney by Dr O′Donoghue, Mr Greiner and Dr Whitlam and in Perth, at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, by Mrs Janet Holmes à Court AO and Mr Gatjil Djerrkura OAM (ATSIC Chairman).

"All the designs will also be on display on the Internet at www.ausflag.com.au. The Australian people will be invited to vote on their favourite designs either at the exhibitions or via the Internet. Three winning designs will be announced later in 1998.

The exhibition will travel to other capital cities throughout Australia and be featured at `Design 99′ at Darling Harbour in Sydney. It is vital that we find the design which is preferred by the majority of Australians, as eventually it is likely that the final decision about Australia′s new flag will go to a plebiscite. While prizes from Fuji Xerox and Apple Computer will be most generous, the real reward for the person who designs Our Own Flag will be glory," they added.