My ‘Adopted’ Aboriginal Mum, Elder Auntie Ali Golding


NAIDOC AWARDS, 2010: Elder of the Year (Female) “I believe he has been touched by the Big Spirit to inspire him to design such a designed flag….”

“I believe the creation of this flag could break down all negative barriers so we can all live together in unity, harmony and peace. Maybe this could be an opportunity for this country to be healed in the future. When I look at the Sunburnt Flag I think all Australians should be so proud, thankful and grateful to live in a beautiful land such as this. Because the stars to me on the Sunburnt Flag are the eyes of the Big Spirit looking down on his people watching and protecting us all.”


DEBORAH RUIZ WALL – Oral History Videographer

What I like about Stephen Berry’s ‘Sunburnt Flag‘ is the unifying elements in his design to depict our shared Australian identity:

1) The Southern Cross signifying our unique place in the world, shining over our island continent – the Sunburnt Country;

2) The Red Earth as the Foundation of the Spirit of the Land;

3) The incorporation of nature elements, existing flags (Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands) and colours;

4) A space for accommodating state flags;

5)  The ANZACs honoured, with the sun rising over their spilt blood (red);

6) His emblems also accommodating state and military versions.

The disappearance of the Union Jack from his flag design symbolizes Australia’s maturity as a nation — our break away from our colonial past.

I endorse Stephen’s flag design as appropriate for Australia in our time.

Deborah Ruiz Wall OAM


JOHN RAMSLAND OAM – Emeritus Professor of History


Book launch of Remembering Aboriginal Heroes – coauthored with Christopher Mooney (PHD)

Stephen Berry’s Sunburnt Flag is a most evocative and eloquent expression of symbols central to Australia’s history, aptly demonstrating that the past is never dead and, indeed, part and parcel of our future. It draws together the many logos of the rising sun found scattered throughout our society, expressing the idea that Australia is an interesting refreshing place where everything is before it – and yet of working together towards a better future.

The rising yellow sun reminds me particularly of the famous hat badge of the AIF and the banner logo of the Sydney Sun – the chariot riding towards us out of the flaming sun, designed just after the Great War by the paper’s resident artist, a Scot who had served and survived on the western front.

The red symbolizes the vastness and mystery of the continent and tells us that the Aborigines were the original custodians of the soil, that we are all custodians together as Australians. The deep blue is both the dawning night sky and the deep oceans that surround our shores. The vibrant Southern Cross emphasizes our sense of place in the Southern Hemisphere, the clearness of our skies. The red and yellow, as well as being the colours of our amateur life-saving movement, symbolize our commitment to community and the safety of everyone.

Above all, the flag evokes the joy of belonging.

John Ramsland, OAM  Emeritus Professor of History



GEORGE POULOS – Iconographer & Vexillologist – Designer of the official Waverley Beaches flag

I have been convinced for more than 2 decades that the correct designation for a “real” Australian flag is –

“Rising Sun over red earth/blood of the ANZAC’s, under Southern Cross”.

Stephen Berry’s design captures this designation perfectly.

It is a simple, aesthetically pleasing design, with a clever rationale.

Above all it is unequivocally and intrinsically Australian, something that the British naval ensign “defaced by stars“, can never be.

George Poulos


George on Bondi Beach with Ken Done flag T shirt and young Bondi lifesaver


Official Waverley Beaches Flag