If you weren’t aware, Invasion Day is what many Indigenous Australian people call January 26th. Instead of sitting next to pools, drinking beer, having a BBQ, and listening to the Triple J Hottest 100, some people instead think about tall ships docking, and genocide consequently happening. Cultures being stripped; and atrocities happening to loved ones.
Star of ‘Black Comedy’ Nakkiah Lui wrote an incredible article for The Guardian on why for her, and other Indigenous Australians, January 26th is a day of mourning, not celebration:
“We do not celebrate the coming of the tall ships in Sydney’s harbour. Instead, we mourn the declaration of Australia as terra nullius (land that belongs to no one) as well as those who have died in massacres, those who were dispossessed of their land and homes, those were denied their humanity, those who were shackled, beaten, sent to prison camps, and made to live in reserves. We mourn those who have died in the resistance.
We also mourn the affects of genocide and colonisation which persists to this day. Aboriginal people die younger (an Indigenous male born in 2005-2007 is likely to live to 67.2 years, 11.5 years less than a non-Indigenous male); the number of Aboriginal children in “out of home care” is staggering; imprisonment rates for Indigenous Australians are around 12 times those of the rest of the Australian population; and people in the Northern Territory are still being oppressed under the Northern Territory intervention, a policy which Amnesty International described as “blatantly disregarding human rights”.
We mourn whilst the rest of the country celebrates around us.
And as I watch people around the country celebrate the myth that is Australia, I am given the option to either join in or shut up. Well I refuse to celebrate, and every Australia Day my heart is broken as I am reminded that in the eyes of many, I am not welcome on my own land.“
While this kind of devastation is impossible to comprehend if you are not an Indigenous Australian, it is possible to be an ally. And today, Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes from The Presets have given their fans the best possible example of how to be a good ally to First Nation people on Australia Day: don’t celebrate it at all.
They put up a lengthy Facebook post today, which highlights their reasons for not wanting to support Australia Day. They actively mentioned that they won’t be pressuring anyone else to follow suit, and everyone can make their own decisions, but this was their choice.
Tomorrow, as you all know is Australia Day. To all our friends and fans out there who are gearing up to celebrate it, we…
Despite a smattering of the standard ‘YOU UN-PATRIOTIC DICKHEADS‘ type of comments, the reception has been pretty good. When there’s historical (and modern) evidence of violence and murder, people generally don’t like being reminded of it.
But hey: we all have the chance to be a part of a generation that makes serious change… if you want to.
Here are some of the Invasion Day protests and marches that are happening around the country:
MELBOURNE – 10am, at Parliament House steps.
ADELAIDE – 11am, at Parliament House steps.
BRISBANE – 11am, at Parliament House steps.