In response to January 26 being Australia's national holiday, many of us are against the chosen date for the occasion (and the nationalist occasion altogether). January 26, 1788, was the date the First Fleet arrived ashore, marking the beginning of settler colonisation, genocide, violence towards, and the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The way that settler colonialism has manifested in Australian culture is often deeply racist and discriminatory and includes a lack of truth-telling, the destruction and disregard of sacred sites, and ongoing violence towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The move to petition to change the date, and abolish the date altogether, stems from the fact that the date and the nationalism that it fuels uproots the trauma that colonization caused, particularly when there is still no sovereignty, truth-telling or treaties provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For further reading on Abolishing 'Australia Day', Eugenia Flynn's piece titled, Abolish Australia Day – changing the date only seeks to further entrench Australian nationalism is a great place to start. You can read up on changing the date via Reconciliation Australia.
Today, on January 26, many of us will March in solidarity and to demand change to an insensitive, damaging, and racist national holiday. Below, you can find information on where marches will be held around Australia.
To note, if you are feeling unwell, have been told to self-isolate, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at all, stay at home to protect others. It has been recommended and asked by rally organisers for attendees to wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines. For those who are unable to attend, we have listed a variety of organizations you can donate to in support instead, below.
Sydney (Warrang) - 9 am at The Domain.
Brisbane (Meanjin) - 10 am at Elizabeth St at Queens Gardens.
Newcastle (Awabakal Country) - 10 am at Civic Park.
Melbourne (Narrm) - 10:30am at Parliament House, Spring Street.
Canberra (Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country) - 10 am at Tent Embassy.
Adelaide (Kaurna Country) - 11:30 am at Victoria Square
Hobart (Muwinina Country) - 12 pm at Hobart Parliament House and 12 pm at Davenport Bluff.
Perth (Whadjuk Noongar) - 1 pm at Forrest Place.
Alice Springs (Mparntwe Country) - 10 am at Court Lawns.
Darwin (Larrakia Country) - 10 am at Civic Park in Darwin City.
Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement - ALRM’s aim is to advance the legal interests of Aboriginal people in South Australia. To ensure that those interests and rights are protected by the law, and not adversely affected by abuse or misuse of any powers under the law.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation - The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it. You can find your local community-controlled health organisation at the designated link to find where best to donate.
Path to Equality - Path to equality have compiled a comprehensive portal to multiple organizations you can donate to.
First Nations Rainbow - First Nations Rainbow's mission is to bring together Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander peoples who also identify as brotherboy’s, sistergirls or as part of the LGBTQI community to be able to strengthen community, improve wellbeing and reduce stigma and discrimination.