Australia day is a public holiday to come together and consider who we are as a nation. It makes sense that, for so many of us, commemorating the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 triggers great mourning. There is a great number of Australians who are acknowledging the need to honour the resilience and continuance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture on this day.
Here’s what you should consider before January 26:
The change the date movement proposes we change the date away from January 26. It is worth acknowledging that the day hasn’t been fixed in the past, but has already been changed to many different dates.
Same date, new approach
Could we keep the date and call the day by a new name? How can we include and acknowledge our traditional custodians in an appropriate way on our national day? Check out the insight from Yothu Yindi.
Stand in solidarity
Consider celebrating January 26 in ways that support the new awareness we are accumulating as a nation. There are hundreds of organised events which take many forms, from family friendly music festivals with entertainment, to rallies to strike a political chord. Check out this list for ideas.
Tune into Yabun Festival on Koori Radio in Sydney (93.7FM) or live Stream.
Also, available anytime is a top 100 playlist of First Nations songs on 3KND in Melbourne (1503AM).
Be an ally
Support, speak out and recognise the achievements of our First Peoples! I would always encourage learning something new on this day – do you know the nation you live on, or were born on? Research a first nations leader from your area and listen first hand to oral stories from national collections, such as these first people accounts from the stolen generation via the National Library of Australia.
Moving forward into this new year it is so important we are respectful and aware of others lived experience. By opening the floor to opinions from all sides we can consider what a national celebration looks like and how we might achieve it in the near future.
Have a look at my post from last year on the subject of Australia day: Stand Strong on January 26