Palestinians and their supporters gathered on November 15 at Federation Square in Melbourne to celebrate the Palestinian National Day. The Palestinian flag was raised for the first time ever in Melbourne and stood next to seven other Palestinian flags.
The celebration commenced with speeches by one of the organisers of the event, Nasser Mashni of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, who said: "Palestinians know the struggle [of the Aboriginal people]. We have both lost our land. It was stolen from us."
Ron Jones, a Wurundjri Elder, gave the Welcome to Country before a speech by Izzat Salah Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia. A Palestinian woman sang the Palestinian national anthem.
This day marks 28 years since the Palestinian National Council declared the independence of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 two-state border. The declaration of independence was written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and endorsed by Yasser Arafat, Palestine’s first president.
The celebration included traditional Palestinian dancing to music, poetry and live song performances, as well as stalls that sold Palestinian fair trade products.