As the 26th of January approaches, wherever you're located, remember that you are on stolen land.
Every year as this day rolls around, it is always steeped in debate. But there is nothing to contest. It is inherently white supremacist to celebrate a day that marks the beginning of genocide. Genocide enacted through dispossession, massacres like those at Pinjarra and Myall Creek, the deliberate erasure of culture, language and local histories, the continued forced separation of children, over-policing and disproportionate rates of incarceration, the epidemic of Black deaths in police custody — the list goes on.
For many First Nations folk, this day is something one has to steel themselves against. It is a day of mourning. A day that marks invasion and a reminder of survival. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples do not have the privilege of opting out of this reality, unlike white Australia who only began to observe the 26th of January as a national holiday in 1994.
In 2022, the 26th of January also marks 50 years since Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey established the monumental Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside old parliament house. So as we strive toward reconciliation as a nation and carve out a vision for the future, one where truth-telling is valued, as is the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is vital that we recognise the First Nations activists that have been leading this charge from the very beginning.
With this in mind, we're bringing you a list of resources to refer to as Invasion Day approaches. Whether you plan on spending Invasion Day celebrating culture at the 20th Yabun Festival, at a local rally, doing the work by learning about your local First Nations history, or putting your money where your mouth is and paying the rent, find protest details and organisations to donate to, below.
If you are feeling unwell, have been told to self-isolate, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, 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.
Warrang (Sydney): 10am at Town Hall with a silent march that will head to Yabun Festival in Victoria Park.
Wiradjuri Country (Griffith): 12pm at 5 Wayeela St.
Meanjin (Brisbane): 9am Queens Garden.
Awabakal Country (Newcastle): 10am at Foreshore Park.
Naarm (Melbourne): 6:15am virtual event streamed across variety of platforms.
Wadawurrung Country (Ballarat): 5:30am at Lake Wendouree.
Ngambri Ngunnawal (Canberra): 10am at Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Tarndanya (Adelaide): 12:30pm at Victoria Square.
Nipaluna (Hobart): 11:15am via Facebook Live at Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
Boorloo (Perth): 12pm - 2pm
Mparntwe Country (Alice Springs): 10am at Court Lawns.
Garramilla (Darwin): 10am community protest planned outside of Don Dale Youth Detention Centre to call for the facility’s closure.
Pay The Rent: Pay The Rent Australia is an NGO based in Melbourne aiming to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples gain access to essential funds to Pay The Rent.
Grandmothers Against Removals: A grassroots organisation helmed by Aboriginal grandmothers like Wiradjuri elder and activist Jenny Munro. It is fighting against the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families and communities.
Aboriginal Legal Service: First opening its doors in 1970, the ALS is a free community legal service that provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples navigating the legal system.
Sisters Inside: Established in 1992, Sisters Inside is an organisation advocating for the human rights of women and girls in prison.
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.
Black Rainbow: An organisation in place to provide intersectional support to queer and LGBTIQA+ First Nations individuals and communities.