The 26th of January

Tomorrow is the 26th January and is commonly known as Australia Day. It is the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet and a day where many celebrate the official national day of Australia. For many Australians, Australia Day isn’t a day of celebration. It’s actually a day of mourning and a day that reflects all of the sadness and hurt felt by many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people over the years. For many Australians, the 26th January is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day.

I am a Caucasian Australian and certainly not the best person to write about Survival Day. I did however want to highlight an important issue and encourage people to think about what 26th January might mean to other Australians.

This video asks Indigenous Australians what ‘Australia Day’ means to them.

There are campaigns to change the date of Australia Day, and part of those campaigns is bringing awareness to the wider population about what Australia Day means to its Indigenous people.

In discussing Survival day and the possible impact on UON Indigenous students, a staff member from Wollotuka here at UON said “If Koori kids are feeling isolated and alone then they should seek out their local Indigenous community to ask for support. It’s important that our communities feel welcome and safe on such a distressing day”.

If you need to tomorrow, please reach out to someone in your community. The university support services and Wollotuka will be back on Friday 27th.

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The material or views expressed on this Blog are those of the author and do not represent those of the University.  Please report any offensive or improper use of this Blog to RPS@newcastle.edu.au.
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