La Sbandierata (flag-waving) began in Wollongong
22 years ago, when permission was obtained from the city of Siena
to bring to Australia some Sienese flags and costumes. Wollongong
is the only place outside Siena to have these authentic flags.
The Alfieri, a group of children from the Italian Language
and Culture Program, perform the flag-waving during Italian Week.
The flags represent the 17 Contrade (districts) of Siena
and date back to the Middle Ages. Each district is symbolised
by an animal, either real or mythical.