This post contains information around the 26th January and maybe upsetting for some people to read.
We acknowledge that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land, we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and elders past, present and emerging. We pay respects and acknowledge the continuation of connection to land, sky, seas and traditions of Aboriginal people across the country of this land we now know as Australia.
What is the history of the 26th of January?
26th January marks the day Captain Arthur Phillip rowed ashore at Sydney Cove and proclaimed British sovereignty in 1788.
While some Australians enjoy celebrating this day, for many Aboriginal people it is seen as a day of mourning. Since 1938 there has been a protest movement against the celebration of January 26 and what it stands for. This day marks the shameful beginning of the foundation of Australia as a new Nation. It’s been a day of mourning for First Nations communities officially since 1938, despite this, it was proclaimed a National Public Holiday and one of great National Celebration since 1994.
“In my community, this day is Invasion or Survival Day, it’s also referred to as a Day of Mourning. January 26 represents the start of colonisation in Australia. It marks the start of genocide and profound mistreatment of our people, and the celebration of this date reiterates the continuation of the systematic racism and oppression that we face today as Aboriginal people. I think the most powerful thing you can do on this day is to be an Ally.”
“You can do this by listening to and amplifying First Nations perspectives, challenging and calling out racism, boycotting colonial celebrations and being a part of First Nations led events and marches.” Kirli Saunders, Gunai https://kirlisaunders.com/about
“January 26th marks the day that the government purposely introduced policies and practices intended to extinguish the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia, instead it achieved the result we see today. We are still calling on the Australian Government to demonstrate a level of competency in reversing the damage they have caused to our Peoples. I would be happy to see genuine collective will from Government to commit to this, but I think opinions are too far divided for this to ever be a reality. Our Government demonstrate greater collective will in providing International Aid for all kinds of causes but fail in rectifying the rights of their own Aboriginal citizens, to enjoy the same quality of life as other Australians – free from poverty, despair, racism, discrimination and systematic abuse.
The real question is, what makes this so difficult?”
– – Karen Dini-Paul, Cultural Advisor, CREATE Foundation
We acknowledge that the 26th January marks the start of colonisation and deionisation of First Nation peoples ways of life. On this day we reflect on the pain and sorrow caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and look towards action that can be taken to continue on the path to healing and reconciliation.
Today is a day to deeply listen and hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and stories, to learn about culture and celebrate the survival of our First Nations Peoples despite efforts to the contrary.