Our Indigenous rights team suggest 10 ways to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on what is, for many, a day of mourning.
1. Learn why many people have an issue with Australia Day
Australia Day is not a celebration for every Australian. It marks the day Aboriginal people first saw the tall ships enter their waters. Many people in the Indigenous community call it ‘Survival Day’; others call it ‘Invasion Day.’
“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.
2. Attend a Survival Day event
There are events happening all across Australia – google Survival Day or Invasion Day to find your closest event or check out this Invasion/Survival Day events list for the larger events.
3. Follow @IndigenousX
The IndigenousX Twitter account has a different Indigenous host each week. Since its 2012 launch, 140 different Indigenous hosts have shared their own stories, insights and pictures through it.
4. Love music? Tune into Indigenous radio
Catch the top 100 Indigenous songs on 3KND in Melbourne (1503AM). Or stream it live here. You can also tune in to the live broadcast of music at Yabun festival on Koori Radio in Sydney (93.7FM) or stream Yabun festival here.
If you think today is a scorcher wait til you see the line-up for the Corroboree Ground at Yabun – Wagana Dancers, Doonooch Dancers, Djaadjawan Dancers, Muggera Dancers, Wiritjirbin, Buuja Buuja Butterfly Dancers, Thikkabilla Vibrations, Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness, Djiringanj Dancers, Kare Yarn, Wakakulang, Salt Lake dancers and lastly the ALL IN Corroboree Flash Mob. Only 14 days to go! #yabun2017
5. Find out about the Indigenous languages in your area
Check out this interactive Indigenous language map to find out about the language group in your local area and learn about Indigenous languages across the country.
6. Read a book
If you can find a quiet space on 26 January there are some great books for all ages that document Indigenous people’s lives and experiences. Try:
- Fabienne Bayet-Charlton’s exploration of her Bundjalung roots in Finding Ullagundahi Island
- Sally Morgan’s milestone autobiography My Place
- the first of Ruby Langford Ginibi’s five autobiographies Don’t Take Your Love to Town
- Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss
7. Watch something meaningful
Some options are the short film Babakiueria, a satirical take on race relations in Australia from the 1980s, or the movie Servant or Slave, about the history of the domestic servitude enforced upon Aboriginal girls in Australia. Also check out a new reality series Family Rules on NITV, which has been dubbed the “Aboriginal Kardashians“.
8. Celebrate Australia on a different day
There’s no real consensus yet on an alternate day but Wattle Day has been one suggestion.
9. Share Stan Grant’s speech on Facebook
Stan Grant’s speech went viral in 2016, so let’s keep it going until everyone in Australia has seen it.
10. Sign a petition
The effects of colonisation are still felt by Indigenous people today, who have poorer outcomes in health, education and the justice system.
Right now our government is throwing kids as young as 10 into prison, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in every Australian state and territory’s youth justice system. Instead of more prison sentences, we need a plan to support kids and Indigenous-led programs. Sign our petition today to end this over-representation.