• Cheree Toka wants the Aboriginal flag to be flown 365 days a year on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
People are shocked after learning the Aboriginal flag only flies on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a few weeks of the year, says petition organiser.
NITV Staff Writer

25 Jan 2018 - 11:17 AM  UPDATED 25 Jan 2018 - 12:01 PM

An Indigenous Australian woman is pushing to have the Aboriginal flag remain a permanent fixture on the Sydney Harbour Bridge after collecting tens of thousands of signatures on a petition.

Kamilaroi woman Cheree Toka has spent the past year campaigning to have the flag raised permanently on the landmark following her first Harbour Bridge climb, which she described as both scary and extremely disappointing.

At the launch of her campaign last year Ms Toka told NITV News: "It needs to be flown 24/7, seven days a week to recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people," she told NITV.

"I don’t want any flag replaced. We have a flag to represent Australia and the Aboriginal flag is to represent the First Peoples of Australia, which is an acknowledgement to them."

She has collected more than 65,000 signatures on a Change.org petition  and many supporters are shocked that the flag is taken down, she said.

The 27-year-old says the first time the flag was raised alongside the Australian flag was in 2013.

It now flies for 15 days of the year for NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week and Australia Day.

"It's so disheartening to know it comes down every year," Ms Toka said yesterday.

"If it's so important to put up then why not just leave it up there?"

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Ms Toka wants to discuss the matter with the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, but has had four requests for a meeting rejected.

"It's such a simple step towards recognition," she said ahead of Australia Day.

"It will bring us together as a nation, the nation that we claim to be, supporting and respecting Aboriginal culture. Right now I don't see that."

A call to Ms Berejiklian's office was not returned.

 Additional reporting AAP