Opinion: Indigenous resistance is not new: opposition to Australia Day – known to many as Invasion Day, Survival Day or a Day of Mourning – goes back almost a century
Opposition to Australia Day, known also as Invasion Day, Survival Day or a Day of Mourning, goes back almost a century.
Normal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text sizeI am a 33-year-old Aboriginal woman, I live in Melbourne and for the past five years I have organised Indigenous rights rallies, including Invasion Day.I’m also a university student who enjoys drinking soy lattes and eating avocado on sourdough toast with vegan feta.
Thousands marched through the streets of Melbourne to protest against Australia Day last year.Credit:Chris HopkinsMost people at this point in the article would readily dismiss my voice as they have been told for many years now that mine is a voice that is not worth listening to. That my voice is not a ‘real’ Indigenous perspective.
While this may be a convenient view, it is not reality. My voice matters, as do all Indigenous voices.AdvertisementFor many who have been paying attention, they would know that Indigenous resistance is not new to this continent. Opposition to Australia Day, known to many as Invasion Day, or Survival Day, or a Day of Mourning, goes back almost a century. headtopics.com
Participants in the Aboriginal Day of Mourning on January 26, 1938.Credit:From the private collection of Dr Wayne AtkinsonAnd through this history of opposition to Australia Day, Indigenous voices have never been focused solely on ‘changing the date’.
Since the first Australia Day, before it was even called that, Indigenous people were not invited to the party. The one time we were able to attend, in 1938, we wereforced to participate under threat. And this is reflective of not just the history of Australia Day, but the history of Australia – we were never invited to join the nation. More than that, excluding us has long been a core theme of both the day of the celebration and the nation being celebrated.
Australia was built on our lands subsequent to the dispossession and genocide of our people, on their blood and bones, to our exclusion and detriment. It was founded as land for Whites Only.While many of the laws and policies that laid this foundation have been repealed, Indigenous people still experience the effects of these origins today.
Indigenous people have provided countless ways forward for us as a nation to address this, but we have been and continue to be ignored and undermined by the powers that be. Adding insult to injury, our voices are not just ignored, they are wilfully misrepresented. headtopics.com
Thousands marched through the streets of Melbourne to mark Invasion Day last year.Credit:Chris HopkinsWhite Australia is told that we are ‘selfish rabble’, that our protests are ‘riots’, our slogans are ‘threats’, that we care only for symbolic change while ignoring serious issues, that we aren’t ‘real’ Indigenous people anyway. They are told that our well-planned COVID-safe events, which resulted in no known community transmission, are not worth the risk.
This is the absurdity that lies behind the arguments against Invasion Day protests which claim that “Changing the date won’t fix anything”. We know that. That’s why ever since the 1938 Day of Mourning, Indigenous protesters have used the day to fight for issues about all of those things holding us back, and that holds Australia back from becoming worthy of a national day of celebration.
This is why, in recent years, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance led a movement away from ‘Change The Date’ and instead promoted ‘Abolish Australia Day’.LoadingJust as changing Australia Day from a ‘Whites Only’ event without changing Australia’s attitudes towards white nationalism doesn’t make it an inclusive event, so too would changing the date without changing the nation. This would not make Australia any more inclusive, or any closer to understanding the truth of our past and the injustices our mob continue to experience today.
Abolish Australia Day until we find something worth celebrating, maybe after we have had our post-colonial moment here in this country when Australia comes to terms with its violent past.We march against what the day represents, not so much the date, but the white nationalism, racism and the ongoing colonial project that is destroying our country and killing our people. This is the reality of the Australia we live in. headtopics.com
LoadingThis is an important point for any settler allies who plan to attend Invasion Day events. If you participate, and I hope you do, join us in our calls for justice and help amplify our voices. But don’t confuse our calls for justice for calls for symbolism or token gestures. We aren’t here for a one-word change in the anthem, a meaningless reform in the constitution, or moving a celebration of Invasion to another day.
We are here for justice. We are here for Indigenous rights. And we are still here, every day, fighting for sovereignty to protect Indigenous people and our sacred lands.I will not be silenced, and we are not going away. No matter what happens, the land beneath my feet always was and always will be Aboriginal land.
Meriki Onus is a Gunai and Gunditjmara woman from Bung Yarnda.Start your day informedOur Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald »
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Change the day You would have had something to bitch about if Japan had won WW2.Time to.move on boys and girls. The majority of Australians have 'enormous pride in Australia Day', its only a very small minority who hate their country This is not about reconciliation. This is about power and money. Indigenous leaders will never say to Australia one day that we are now reconciled. They will just move on to the next thing to be outraged against. AustraliaDay
keepsydney1 history of colonization is not unique here It happened in US South America Malaysia Africa What is the big deal? it happened n we can not erase history by changing statues n the name of towns n cities Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: Which is why I and my family celebrate Australia Day on the 26th of January. AustraliaDay 8/8
Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: Such an Australia would never have welcomed me and my family, and we would never have had a better life. 7/8 Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: And it's almost certain that under any other power, there would be no democratic Australia today - with its open, free society and self-critical, self-correcting mechanisms and traditions. 6/8
Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: Invasion of Australia by any other power would almost certainly have meant the complete erasure of Aboriginal existence. 5/8 Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: Anyone who thinks that pre-European Australia was not the proverbial sitting duck for invasion by almost any nation with a navy is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. It was always just a matter of time. 4/8
Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: For us the 26th of Jan means that Europeans who arrived 2 centuries ago got here before the Japanese, the Indonesians, the Chinese, or any of the other powers managed to invade this land. 3/8 Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: I and my family have worked hard to make a better life in this land, and to give back to help make life slightly better for every other Australian. For us the 26th has special significance... 2/8
Why I celebrate Australia Day on 26th Jan: I am an immigrant from an impoverished Asian country. When I started a family, I wanted a better future for them. And Australia was calling for people with my skills to come over and help build this nation. 1/8 What justice. Do you want captain cook brought before the courts. Maybe the monarchy could also be dragged there. Would this appease you as long as the outcome was what you wanted.
It’s more than indigenous resistance. First time I’ve heard those terms used. Justice would be served if the cohort obeyed the laws, kept out of gaol, worked hard to achieve a good life and thanked their lucky stars that they, in the main, interbred with the invaders and survived. Thank you for this article. Australia is still a very divided country. Acknowledging the violent past allows a reset. Adopting the Uluru Statement from the Heart would be the beginning of healing. There is much more to do, but we need to make a start.
I'm gonna be celebrating how great Australia is thanks to it's colonial past. Have a beer and a snag, don't whinge about non-issues. Is all that have arrived since 1788 an invader?One is still a gate crasher if invited 2the party by gate crasher. smh 9NewsAUS 2GB873 thekoorimail australian AusOpinion auspol GuardianAus abcnews SBSNews SatPaper TheNewDailyAu grumpyhacks thekoorimail survivalday
Review all the public holidays, far too many based on Christian Holidays and who really treats the Queens Birthday holiday as a day to celebrate her birthday? The name of the day should be 'Civilisation Day'. 65,000 yrs = survival. No writing, no buildings, no wheel and no clothes! True. Then Aborigines learnt English, became literate, educated and civilised! Fastest path to civ. on planet!
Ahead of 'Australia Day,' I'd like to ask as an Asian immigrant recently chastised for celebrating the day: As a 'stolen' nation, and a land with a large and growing population of dual-citizens, is there any rationale for defending ourselves against China or any other nation? Fuxk them! They travelled to Sydney Cove on 25 January and the next morning, on the 26th, Sir Arthur Phillip and a small entourage of marines and officers claimed the land in the name of King George III. ITS NOT AN INVASION DAY YOU LOSERS!
Indigenous “resistance” whilst taking govt money, govt programs and govt public holidays. Sovereignty ceded in all practical aspects. And if it was an invasion then sovereignty extinguished by conquest. I wonder how many ppl that support this give away their homes to Aboriginals a sign of support? None from SMH im sure.
Is the Grievance Industry that old? The vocal minority aka professional protesters can go get fucked Shouldn’t we talk about what Australia Day really celebrates - the act of Jan 26, 1949 that freed us from Britain and made us ALL Australian No one in Germany celebrates the settlement of the First Nations of Europe by Germans.Why is British settlement of the First Nations of Australia being celebrated? We will never be White even if you kill us after your failure to make us White with the evil of assimilation!
The oppressed will always press their plight no matter what is done. Oh how interesting. Without much success? Maybe because most people by far don’t want it. Just like the pill testing and legalisation of drugs barrows you clickbaiters are always pushing. They are getting billions in funding from Australian government
All the city dwellers who are so offended but are quite happy to have a paid day off work. This is their annual one day contribution to indigenous Australians. After that they forget about it until the following year! The CCP has just to wait it out. The deep contradictions of Australia, the US, + the rest of the West mean that they will simply incinerate themselves with self-loathing over the next few years. There is zero sense of the complex historical processes that form nations. Pathetic
So, isn't it about time we fixed this running sore? Time for vocal minority drunks, thieves & petrol sniffers to come out & blame the white man again! If it was JAPAN or CHINA that settled here all the ABORIGINALS would have been culled off, or if lucky ENSLAVED like the Uighurs! Think of THOSE consequences IF you're sober enough!