In 1997 over 300,000 Australians signed their names on one of 120,000 plastic hands that make up the Sea of Hands. The Sea of Hands was created as a powerful, physical representation of the Citizen's Statement on Native Title. The Citizen's Statement was a petition circulated by ANTaR to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation, at a time when native title rights were under serious threat from the Howard Government's proposed changes to the Native Title Act 1993. These plastic hands, in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, , were installed in front of Parliament House in Canberra in October 1997, in what was then the largest public art installation in Australia. The Sea of Hands is fundamentally a locally-focused reconciliation activity. Many local reconciliation groups and other community groups, such as churches, schools, universities, local events committees, etc, have staged small Sea of Hands events of various sizes. This may involve anything from a few hundred to many thousands of hands. Each State has a store of hands which are now used as installations at events and to mark significant days.
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