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Bob Trewin and Ray Paten in Orbost get new Australian flags for National Flag Day from Darren Chester

Commemorating the first flying of the Australian National Flag on September 3, 1901. Chester's visit was in response to a local resident's request to replace weathered flags, and the historical significance of the Australian flag was highlighted.

By news@gippsland - 4th September 2023 - Back to News

Two patriotic Orbost residents were given a surprise National Flag Day gift with new Australian flags to fly from the front yards of their homes. Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester paid a personal visit to the homes of 98-year-old Bob Trewin and 92-year-old Ray Paten.

Darren Chester presenting local resident Bob Trewin with new Australian flag

Darren Chester presenting local resident Bob Trewin with new Australian flag

Flag replacement gesture

Mr Chester said, "Local resident Peter Morrison had contacted my office and told us the flags were a bit wind-torn and could we send some replacements?It was great to visit and catch up with Bob and Ray who now have brand new flags flying proudly at their homes."

To commemorate the day on which the Australian National Flag was first flown, September 3 of each year is officially recognised as Australian National Flag Day. Upon federation in 1901, Australia's first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, announced an international competition to design a flag for the new Commonwealth of Australia. There were 32,823 entries, of which five nearly identical designs were awarded equal first.

Winners sharing the prize

The prize money was divided among the winners:

  • Annie Dorrington from Perth, who became quite a well-known artist
  • Ivor Evans from Melbourne, a 14-year-old school boy whose father owned a flag-making business
  • Leslie Hawkins, a teenager from Leichhardt in New South Wales
  • Egbert Nuttall, from Prahran in Victoria
  • William Stevens, First Officer in the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand

The Australian Flag was flown for the first time on September 3 1901, the day on which the then Prime Minister announced the five joint competition winners. It was flown over the dome of the Exhibition Building in Melbourne, which was the then seat of the federal government.

"Today a massive version of the flag flies on top of Parliament House in Canberra and I always enjoy spotting it out the windows from various angles as I move around the building for work," Mr Chester said.

Pictures from Darren Chester MP website.


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