How does a welcoming Australia approach Jan 26?

Not a Date to Celebrate – image from Clothing the Gaps

Welcoming Australia exists to advance an Australia where everyone has equal opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive.

26 January, marks the 1788 landing of a British fleet of ships under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, the raising of the Union Flag and proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard. For many of the First Peoples of this continent, January 26 is a day of mourning, invasion and subsequent survival in the face of oppression and assimilation.

A welcoming Australia requires us to give voice to the truth, to strive for treaty, to dismantle systems of oppression and advance self-determination for First Peoples.

A welcoming Australia requires systemic change.

This Jan 26, we committed officially to the Change It Ourselves campaign, joining hundreds of other organisations in offering the opportunity to our staff to swap the public holiday, recognising Jan 26 as a Day of Mourning and not the date to celebrate. We joined thousands to mark Invasion Day and Survival Day at rallies across the country, and will continue to intentionally show up throughout the year to come.

Here are some resources to explore as we imagine how to build a welcoming Australia

– Working the public holiday? Here’s tips from Clothing the Gaps on how to ensure it’s not just business as usual

– Pay the Rent – here’s an example of how to do that, or donate to a local First Nations led movement

– Learn about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution

– Bookworm? Grab a copy of Chelsea Watego’s Another Day in the Colony 

– A summary of 2023 #InvasionDay and #SurvivalDay events here and here.



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