The Traditional Owners of this land are those who identify as
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Sovereignty was never ceded.

ANTAR pays respect to Elders past, present, and emerging through our dedicated advocacy for First Nations Peoples’ justice and rights.

ANTAR acknowledges the responsibility of committing to a truth-telling process that promotes an honest and respectful path forward for future generations to build upon.

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Sea of Hands A symbol of solidarity
2 minutes

A symbol of solidarity

Last edited: November 9, 2022

The Sea of Hands has been a symbol of solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations and leaders on rights and reconciliation issues since 1997. Our first landmark installation outside Parliament House in Canberra on 27 October 1997 had 70,000 hands in the colours of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

Origin story

What does the Sea of Hands stand for and how did they originate?

ANTAR’s Sea of Hands is an iconic symbol of reconciliation and a way for communities all around Australia to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander issues and events.

The first Sea of Hands was held on 12 October 1997 in front of Parliament House, Canberra. It was created as a powerful, physical representation of the Citizen’s Statement on Native Title – a petition circulated by ANTAR to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation.

Hands in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, each one carrying a signature from the Citizen’s Statement, were installed in front of Parliament House in what was then the largest public art installation in Australia.

Today, nearly half a million Australians across the country have planted a hand in support of reconciliation. The hands now symbolise community support for RECONCILIATION, RIGHTS and RESPECT.

Planting a Sea of Hands is an act of recognition – of identity, culture and history.

To join the movement, find out how to arrange a visit from Sea of Hands to your community group, school, university, workplace, or even home.

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