Australia Day is not a celebration for all Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples mark this day as Survival Day. Since colonisation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been subjected to government-sanctioned violence, policies that removed children from families, the removal of people from their lands and the denial of self-determination.
This year on Survival Day, let’s stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise the survival and resilience of the oldest living culture in the world.
We encourage our staff and supporters to support local Survival Day events. Contact event organisers and volunteer your time. Participate in a local event, or if appropriate, host a Community is Everything stall at one. Better yet, bring your family and friends along
“26 January is a hard day for all of our mob. Aboriginal people always feel sad on Australia Day; it marks the end of freedom for our people,” says Amnesty International’s Indigenous Rights Advisor and Palawa man, Rodney Dillon.
Over the last 12 months we have seen a strong push around the country to #changethedate. Examples include the change.org petition calling on Triple J to move the date of the Hottest 100 countdown. The Saturday Paper has a changedate petition calling on musicians, artists, families and businesses to not celebrate Australia Day. The Fremantle Council are hosting a community event on 28 January instead of the 26th. And artists, AB Original released the song titled January 26 – you can vote for it here for the hottest 100 to support a date change by triple j. These moves are positive steps towards finding an alternative date that unites all Australians in celebration.
“26 January is a hard day for all of our mob. Aboriginal people always feel sad on Australia Day; it marks the end of freedom for our people.”
Rodney dillon, palawa man and Indigenous Rights Advisor
The impact of colonisation is still felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today, including through poorer outcomes in health and education, and an over-representation in the justice system. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities have effective solutions to many of the issues that their communities are faced with. It’s time our government listen and learn from communities who are doing great work.
There are signs of progress. Youth justice is finally on the political agenda! Let’s continue our work together to ensure that 2017 is the year that meaningful action is taken.
It’s time to stand together and show our support this Survival Day.