A Bundanoon man has raised the stakes in an effort to foster reconciliation across the Southern Highlands.
Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group [WRG] co-chair Lee Borradale has reached out to local RSLs to do more to honour Indigenous servicemen and women who have fought and died for their country.
After some promising uptake from clubs and groups in 2021, Mr Borradale and the WRG have turned their attentions to RSLs, in particular the Bundanoon RSL Sub-branch.
Bundanoon was a hive of activity in May with three organisations accepting flags from the WRG and Mr Borradale said he wanted to see it continue.
"My hope is that RSLs generally, but Bundanoon in particular, see the opportunity to serve their role as custodians of the will of the Australian people who want to commemorate the service of soldiers," he told the Southern Highland News.
The WRG approached Hume MP Angus Taylor last year and asked for several Aboriginal flags in order to distribute them in the community themselves instead of relying on organisations writing to Mr Taylor.
Mr Borradale, a non-Indigenous man, said the idea was for community groups to forge stronger connections with Indigenous people across the Southern Highlands, which is located on Gundungurra and Tharawal land.
"I suggested that if we wrote to Angus Taylor and asked him he would provide us with the flags then the Reconciliation group would approach organisations to ask whether they would like a flag presented," he explained.
"The idea being that it's better to establish a link between Aboriginal groups and organisations in the Southern Highlands, rather than it be political.
"In terms of raising the profile of the original owners of the land, never ceded, would be a good thing. To work for reconciliation, because of the damage that has been done."
Whilst NSW RSL strongly encourages the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags to be flown or carried alongside the Australian flag and flags of other nations, it is not mandated.
Mr Borradale, himself an ex-President of the Bundanoon RSL sub-branch, said the community should be consulted on whether a flag should be included in services.
"The RSL is a custodian on behalf of the community. What is the community's view when it comes to flying the Aboriginal flag?" he asked.
"We presented a flag and it was well received by the Bundanoon Club, Croquet Club and Bowling Club. On top of that I approached the Bundanoon Community Association [to raise the issue] and there's been a bit of back and forth.
"I will have an opportunity to present a case at a future meeting."
Mr Borradale said he and the WRG were waiting for an official response from the Sub-branch and in October, took to Facebook page Highlands Opinion to present his request to the community and said the reaction demanded a response.
"The feedback on Facebook has been phenomenal," he said.
"There's been more than 90 comments. All but one was in favour of flying the Aboriginal flag and a bit aghast that there was even a question about it.
"The recognition of first peoples being treated properly has only been won after the fall and it ought not to be the case. As Australians we should work out what is right, fair and just and how to achieve that rather than the reverse.
"The principles should come first."
Bundanoon RSL has been contacted for comment.
Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a daily email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.