A symbol of solidarity
The Sea of Hands is a symbol of solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and planting a Sea of Hands is an act of recognition.
ANTaR’s Sea of Hands has been installed in every major city and many regional locations throughout Australia and continues to gather signatures everywhere it appears. Many thousands of Australians have signed their names on one of the plastic hands that make up the Sea of Hands to show their support for reconciliation.
The Sea of Hands is a wonderful tool for education. It has become a way for communities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and show their support for JUSTICE, RIGHTS, RECONCILIATION and RESPECT.
The first Sea of Hands was planted on the lawns in front of Parliament House, Canberra in October 1997 and set out in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. Each flag carried a signature from the Citizen’s Statement on Native Title. The Citizen’s Statement was a petition circulated by ANTaR National to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation. Giving each signature a hand to stand before Parliament House became a powerful and effective symbol of people’s desire for genuine reconciliation and rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Sea of Hands has become a symbol of the People’s Movement for reconciliation and continues to gather signatures everywhere it appears.
Holding a Sea of Hands display
Schools, community groups and organisations can call on Hands for a Sea of Hands display. This can be a great way of starting conversations about reconciliation, what it means and why it’s needed and a powerful way of contributing to marking NAIDOC, Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day or other occasions. Hands can be ordered through the ANTaR National website (www.antar.org.au) for larger displays hired out.
Smaller community displays within Queensland can also be organized through ANTaR Queensland by contacting us via the form below or ringing 0401 733 359.
To join the movement, find out how to arrange a visit from Sea of Hands to your community group, school, workplace or even home. In the words of one of the schools who held a display:
“Thank you so much for the loan of the hands! Our school community had such an awesome experience planting them. We had an assembly first, with a guest speaker from the community. One of our Torres Strait Islander students gave a speech too. He was very nervous, but so excited. Some parents and community members came as well. Then we went outside together and our Indigenous students, all our senior classes, families, teachers and admin planted the hands together. We had family members handing hands out to the kids and cars honking their horns as they went past. One of our student’s nan described the day as deadly. … Thanks again ANTaR Qld for giving our school the opportunity to do this.” Jayme-Lee