For many people in this country, January 26th is a symbolic day of celebration, debauchery and Aussie pride. However, there are just as many who will gather tomorrow to lay bare the darkness of Australia Day.
232 years ago the first fleet arrived to colonise a land already occupied, and now many around the country say no to celebrating our ‘birth’. Instead they seek to recognise the sadness associated with horrific consequences for our First Nations people who call and have called Australia home for 60,000 years.
Instead of celebrating, many Australian citizens will spend tomorrow rallying against the conventional notions of Australia Day – or Invasion Day.
Protests and anti-Australia Day rallies are set to roll out nationwide tomorrow in every state capital as well as a handful of metropolitan and regional towns. The Guardian reports that the more minor city areas such as Ballarat, Penrith, Newcastle, Bermagui, Fremantle, Devonport and Townsville are also expected to take part.
The last decade, in many cases, saw society here in Australia and globally develop more progressive views on issues concerning marginalised communities. This concept of being woke to the way the world really worked in the past and present has been an effective tool for educating people on the meaning of Invasion Day. Thousands of First Nations people plead that we either change or abolish our day of national pride to accept what this country did and continues to do.
We only started celebrating the day nationally 26 years ago, so why can’t we just move it? It would put to rest the extremely painful reminder of takeover and killing that the 26th holds.
Melbourne’s theme for the rally this year is to “pay the rent”, with the hopes that people will donate to First Nation funds going towards family funeral costs and other expenses. Maybe you want to get down to your local rally and ask how you can help shed light on an exceptionally dark day – if so, find a list of events below.
Invasion/Survival Day 2020 Events
Melbourne: outside Parliament House, Spring St – 11am
Sydney: Hyde Park, corner of Elizabeth St and Liverpool St – 11am
Newcastle: Civic Park – 11am
Canberra: Veterans Park – 11am
Perth: Forrest Place – 12pm
Adelaide: Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Grenfell St – 1pm
Hobart: Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre – 11am
Devonport: Devonport Bluff – 11:45am
Darwin: Civic Park – 11:30am
Brisbane: Queens Gardens – 10am
Townsville: Perfume Gardens – 11am