Why Some Call Australia Day Survival Day
Each year on January 26, Australia celebrates Australia Day. This day marks the anniversary of when the first British ships arrived in Australia in 1788. For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were living in Australia before this time, it was not a cause for celebration, but rather a difficult and turbulent time. While Australia Day is now celebrated by many as a day of national pride, for some it is known as Survival Day.
So, why do some people call it Survival Day? The term ‘Survival Day’ is used to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resistance to colonial violence, dispossession, and genocide. It also serves to acknowledge the resilience of Indigenous communities in the face of assimilation, dispossession, and discrimination since 1788 knowcarupdate.
Survival Day is a day of mourning and remembrance for many Indigenous Australians. To honour this solemn occasion, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra hosts an annual Survival Day sunrise ceremony each year. The ceremony is a chance to remember the lives lost, and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and resilience.
If you choose to ignore this important section of society, you will see Australia Day, a day of national celebration, as but one definition of the 26th of January. But ignoring this part of society is the very problem that has caused the majority of these issues for Aboriginals in Australia. Aboriginal Australians belong in this country just as much as everybody, yet they are forced to watch each year as the government and nation celebrate an occasion without remembering the hurt and pain caused to their ancestors.
Indigenous Australians Day of Mourning
Why is it a day of mourning for some Indigenous Australians? Survival Day is a day of reflection and acknowledgement for Indigenous Australians, to commemorate the past injustices endured by their people and the struggles they have endured since colonisation. It is a day of mourning because it marks the start of colonisation and the impact it has had on their culture, identity and rights.
In recent years, we have seen progress with the Close the Gap campaign as well as National Sorry Day. If you haven’t seen these before, Close the Gap is an initiative that seeks to improve Indigenous Australians’ access to health and education services. National Sorry Day is a day of reflection and acknowledgement of the mistreatment of Indigenous Australians since European settlement famousmagazinenow.
However, the fact that January 26th remains a day of celebration for many Australians while being a day of mourning for Indigenous Australians is problematic. This has resulted in calls from some people to change the date of the day in recognition of the resilience and strength of Indigenous Australians.
Those who support change say that the symbolism of continuing with January 26 has been damaging to Indigenous communities, while some argue that changing the date takes away from the importance of indigenous history and culture.
What do you believe? Do you think that the date of Australia Day should be changed to a more inclusive day? Or do you believe that January 26th should remain as a reminder of the history of Australia?
Ultimately, this is a choice for Indigenous Australians and the Australian people to decide. Yet, understanding the pain, struggles, and courage of Indigenous Australians is something to be respected by all businesstodaysnews.