On the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s founding in Canberra, many thousands of people rallied across Australia – online and at marches, ceremonies and other events – to demand an end to national celebrations being held on 26 January.
At an online Invasion Day rally in lutruwita/Tasmania, Anglican Archbishop Richard Condie said he had given all Anglican staff across the state permission not to go to work today, and that he was observing the date by “doing what I normally do on a Wednesday – and going to work”.
“I wonder if we could start an Australia-wide trend of simply not observing a celebration on this date,” he said.
Stories of Black power, resistance and survival featured at many events, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar tweeted that the Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s 50th anniversary “reminds our peoples of our strength, survival, and resistance against all forms of injustice, and our fight to build a nation that embraces our diversity”.
“I know there will come a time when all Australians accept the truth about this nation’s past and are able to genuinely connect with and honour our 65,000 years and counting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture,” she said.
“We are not there yet, but it is through all our actions, as Australians, that we are learning to celebrate our collective existence on this land, reimagine our identity and reconsider the dates and symbols that will truly reflect our shared values.”
See this Twitter thread with photos from the lutruwita rally, organised by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, where the resounding message from presenters and many of those commenting online was: it is racist and traumatising to celebrate a national day on 26 January.
Watch this video below made by the health service, Waminda.
Read Jill Gallagher’s article here.
Meanwhile, a new website was launched for the Uluru Statement.
See Croakey’s archive of stories on cultural safety.