I am tired, exhausted and coming in hot with strong boundaries this January 26. Like many First Nations people, this week I decided to take a moment away from social media to protect my energy.

I’m currently sitting in a campsite surrounded by Australian flags and people proud to be Aussie — and don’t get me wrong, you’re allowed to be proud of who you are.

But I’m sitting here thinking: ‘Have these people stopped and reflected on what our country was built on?’

January 26 is a day of mourning, and no, we shouldn’t “change the date” or celebrate the day. We should abolish it.

The last few years, I’ve always stayed on social media around January 26. I always thought that given I have such a platform, I should be advocating for culture and educating people on why we shouldn’t be celebrating Australia Day.

But during these times, I’ve found myself having to block people, shut off comments and deal with constant trolling. It wears me down.

This doesn’t just happen to me. This happens to so many other First Nations people on social media.

It’s so disheartening that each year around January 26 it’s the same conversation, and only half the nation listening.

This is not an attack on non-Indigenous people. But I really need to emphasise how draining, triggering and exhausting it is trying to explain to people why we shouldn’t be celebrating January 26 as “Australia Day”.

It’s so hard to explain to a non-Indigenous person the feelings we are currently feeling, but I always link it back to the past.

Not too long ago, First Nations people weren’t even recognised as humans. In fact, in our own country until 1967, Indigenous people were recognised as flora and fauna. That was just 56 years ago — probably in your own parents’ lifetime.

That’s not to mention the Stolen Generation, where from 1910 up until the 1970s thousands of First Nations children were removed from their homes and placed into homes of non-Indigenous people.

If I kept listing this stuff, I would be here for days. There is so much unpack about our culture and the way First Nations people are treated.

It’s important that we do listen to our First Nations voices to create change. And by change I mean, yes — abolishing the date.

I wanted to share a few tips for non-Indigenous people who want to become an ally to First Nations people during January 26, and all year round.

  • Walk with us, not ahead of us — it’s important to listen, learn and educate yourself on culture
  • Support or buy from a blak business
  • Follow First Nations voices on social media

January 26 is not a day to celebrate.

Allira Potter is a proud Yorta Yorta woman, energetic healer, psychic and spiritual coach who also writes, models and ~manifests~. You can follow her on Instagram HERE and listen to her podcast about January 26 right HERE.

Image: Instagram / @allirapotter