Tuesday 31 July 2012

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says he is disappointed with the current focus on the International Olympic Committee rules, rather than on boxer Damien Hooper’s impressive achievements.

“I do not believe that Damien should have to apologise for wearing the Aboriginal flag. He has admitted he broke a rule and as far as I am concerned that is adequate, however, I encourage the IOC to change their rules to allow for the recognition of indigenous peoples”.

Commissioner Mick Gooda says he is proud of the achievements of Olympic boxer Damien Hooper.

He says “Damien is in London representing his country as both an Australian and an Aboriginal person of his culture and identity.”

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are proud of Hooper. He is Australia’s best chance in boxing since 1988.”

He says he can’t see why there is such a furore over Hooper wearing a t-shirt with an Aboriginal flag on it.

He says the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are recognised as official flags of Australia, and shouldn’t be viewed simply as a political statement.

Media contact: Emily Barker (02) 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529

Up to the minute information on human rights is now available on twitter at