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The Traditional Owners of this land are those who identify as
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Sovereignty was never ceded.

ANTAR pays respect to Elders past, present, and emerging through our dedicated advocacy for First Nations Peoples’ justice and rights.

ANTAR acknowledges the responsibility of committing to a truth-telling process that promotes an honest and respectful path forward for future generations to build upon.

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Last edited: December 1, 2022

On 26 January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip raised the flag of Great Britain and proclaimed a colonial outpost at Warrane (Sydney Cove), on the sovereign lands of the Gadigal Peoples of the Eora Nation.

This act commenced the invasion by British colonists of lands already owned across the continent. A continent that was home to over 250 individual, sovereign nations, inter-connected by trade, sharing knowledge, cultural values and spirituality. 

The date marks the start of the Frontier Wars, a period of armed conflict between settlers and Australia’s First Nations people, which lasted until the Coniston massacre in 1928 (arguably even later).  It was a period of dispossession, oppression, acts of violence and the spread of disease.

“The Founding of Australia by Captain Arthur Phillip RN Sydney Cove, Jan 26th 1788”, an oil painting by Algernon Talmage. (Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales)

Since 26 January 1788, the way of life for Australia’s First Nations Peoples has continually been under threat, with families and communities forced to fight to protect their country, people, culture and history.

It was not until 1935 that the term Australia Day was widely adopted and it has only been celebrated as a national public holiday on that date since 1994 with numerous other dates being celebrated in the past. 

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the date is a reminder of the pain and suffering of their ancestors, the invasion of their land, and enormous loss of life in the Frontier Wars, the massacres, and the intergenerational trauma that comes with that history.

And yet, resistance, resilience, and survival, have been hallmarks of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives every day since invasion.

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