The 26th of January is perhaps the most contentious date in the calendar year. For Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander peoples this date is known as Invasion Day, Survival Day, Aboriginal Sovereignty Day and Day of Mourning.
Some facts to consider:
- Australia Day has only celebrated nationally since 1994.
- On the 26th January 1938 Aboriginal people protested against Australia Day and called it Day of Mourning.
- The Tent Embassy on the grounds of Old Parliament House in Canberra began on 26th January 1972.
- To mark the 200th anniversary of Invasion in 1988, 40 000 Aboriginal people and their supporters marched over the Harbour Bridge. It was the largest protest since the 1970s
- The Aboriginal flag was flown for the first time next to the Australian Flag on the 26th January 2013
Early Childhood Australia made a statement about Australia Day Celebrations in their publication “The Spoke” in 2018 “ECA stands alongside Reconciliation Australia in their call to change the date of Australia Day, and agrees with Chief Executive Karen Mundine that ‘a relatively small task’ would ‘demonstrate a willingness to address past wrongs’ and move to a stronger, more respectful relationship in the future.”