• Aunty Sue sits in the driver's seat before the vehicle is refused access to the parade. (Supplied)
A car decorated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags was denied entry to this week's Anzac Day parade on Bribie Island.
By
NITV Staff Writer

26 Apr 2018 - 5:39 PM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2018 - 5:40 PM

A vintage yellow car has driven Aunty Susan Dean and other Aboriginal community members in the Anzac Day parade on Queensland's Bribie Island for the last two years.

But on Wednesday they were turned around by a Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) member helping to marshal the parade.

Instead of being allowed to publicly commemorate the war effort of Indigenous service men and women, they were left feeling as though their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were not welcome on Anzac Day.

"They probably thought we were going in to protest, there wasn't going to be any protest. I was going in there to just to, as I did last year, just to be proud, for our soldiers that weren't recognised," Aunty Sue told NITV News.

Car owner Justin McCarthy told NITV News he organises to take Aunty Sue in the parade each year.

He said the SES member told him the vehicle wasn't registered for the event. But this was news to Mr McCarthy, who said he called up in the days prior to the parade to confirm its place.

Robert Hazelwood, Vice President of the Bribie Island RSL Sub Branch and Bribie Island's Anzac Day parade commander, told NITV News the issue wasn't that the car displayed large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

“That particular vehicle was disruptive to last year’s parade,” he said.

“This is a very sacred event to us, it’s a day of remembrance for people who were killed in action."

However Aunty Sue said they were well received last year.

"Nothing was said and everyone was cheering and waving at us and, you know, giving us the thumbs up and all."

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Asked if he would be concerned if parade representatives were suggesting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were not allowed in the Anzac Day events, Mr Hazlewood said: "I suppose I would be."

But after parking the car, Aunty Sue said they were again stopped by a SES member when they tried to walk past the security gate leading to the ceremony.

"Myself and the kids were carrying hand held flags - the Aboriginal, the Torres Strait Islander and the Australian flags we were carrying -  and this lady from the SES comes over, 'Excuse me, you cannot take that in there'."

Aunty Sue wanted to know if they would have to tape up the flags they were wearing on their shirts too, in order to be allowed in. 

"I wouldn't have taped them up," she said.

After checking with other organisers, they were allowed in with the flags.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were asked about the two incidents with SES members.

In a statement, a spokesperson said SES helped out with traffic control on the day.

"A member was approached by persons in a vehicle that was not part of the parade and as per instructions given to them, refused the vehicle entry to the area." 

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