We can find a better, more inclusive and unifying date than 26 January. A date that centres the First Nations Peoples of this country in a way that can be celebrated. It’s time that a genuine and respectful national discussion on finding an alternative began.
ANTAR has long campaigned for change, and momentum is building. Many local councils—including City of Melbourne, Yarra, Moreland, Darebin, City of Sydney and Sydney’s Inner West – have cancelled and/or replaced their 26 January events, or voiced formal support for for changing the date. Calls for changes to 26 January have even come from major politicians, such as Chief Minister for the National Territory Michael Gunner.
Rather than simply accepting the holiday, you could take the opportunity to attend and participate in one of the Invasion or Survival Day events around the country. For example, each year, ANTAR supports and participates in the Yabun Festival in Sydney. It is a great opportunity to celebrate Survival and to acknowledge the truth of our shared history.
Take action on our campaign to change the date of the national day to a more respectful day.
I acknowledge that to the First Peoples of Australia, 26 January is a painful reminder of the invasion of their lands and the onset of the Frontier Wars, dispossession, massacres and oppression.I acknowledge the resilience and resistance of First Peoples in the face of that invasion, and their ongoing survival as the oldest living cultures on the planet.
I pledge that: I will not celebrate Australia Day on the 26 January; I will talk to friends and family about what 26 January means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Peoples and / or attend a Survival Day or Invasion Day event in solidarity; I will support campaigns to move Australia Day to a date all Australians can enjoy and celebrate.