Sea of Hands Origins

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 the 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 identities, cultures and history. 

To join the movement, see how your community group, school, university or buisness can have the Sea of Hands visit you with ANTaR's Hands Up! program. 

Want to book a Sea of Hands? Click here

Show your support

There are a number of ways you can support the Sea of Hands campaign for reconciliation.

  1. Hold a Sea of Hands event. You can book the Sea of Hands to visit your school, uni, business or community. Book online here.
  2. Support our Sea of Hands and keep them travelling around the country, make a donation to the program.