Always was, always will be.
Every year, Australians gather across the country to demand the abolishment of Australia Day – a day that many agree is no means for celebration. As we move towards a more inclusive future and an increasingly progressive society, the cries for change grow louder and more powerful. So, if you want to be on the right side of history and make your voice heard, here’s where you can find your local Invasion Day protests, rallies and events this weekend.
In memory of the countless First Peoples who have lost their lives through genocide and death in custody as a result of colonisation, Wurundjeri dance group Djirri Djirri will host an Invasion Day Dawn Service. Recognising the ongoing injustice Indigenous Australians face, the service will pay respect to the resilience and sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Taking place at 5:30am at Kings Domain Resting Place, this will be the second annual Invasion Day Dawn Service. For late-risers, an Abolish Australia Day march will be taking place from 11am to protest the forcible removal of children from their families and communities, racist and discriminatory treatment by police and the courts, and the lack of respect for sacred sites, as well as calling for the abolishment of Australia Day. Hosted by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), protestors will gather in front of Parliament House before making their way through the CBD.
Organised by FIRE (Fighting In Resistance Equally), Sydney’s rally will see thousands of protestors marching from Hyde Park to Victoria Park, making two stops along the way. The first stop will see protestors gather outside of Australia House to commemorate the historic meeting of Indigenous people in 1938 in an effort to declare January 26 a Day of Mourning. The march will then continue to its second planned stop at Railway Square before making its way to Victoria Park where the annual celebration of Indigenous culture and history, Yabun Festival, will see out the afternoon. Since its inaugural year in 2001, Yabun Festival has become the largest one-day gathering and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. Featuring live music, market stalls, panel discussions and community forums on Indigenous issues and cultural performances, Yabun honours the survival of the world’s oldest living culture.
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Also hosted by WAR, Brisbane’s Invasion Day Rally will see marchers make their way from Queens Garden, through the city to Musgrave Park. Relocating to accommodate for the growing crowd it draws each year, Brisbane’s Invasion Day Rally extends an open invite to come and stand by the Indigenous community.
Brisbane’s Invasion Day March and Rally will take place from 10am, starting in Queens Garden.
Hosted by the United Ngunnawal Youth Council, Canberra’s Survival Day March is a show of solidarity while acknowledging Indigenous culture and paying respect to the resilience of First Nations communities.
Canberra’s Survival Day March is happening from 11am at Veterans Park.
Inviting Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together to support recognition of this country’s dark history, Community Solidarity Action NT will host an Always Was, Always Will Be rally this Invasion Day. The event will take place in Civic Park and feature a Welcome to Country, speakers, a free BBQ and drinks, and sign-making.
Darwin’s Always Was, Always Will Be rally is happening in Civic Park from 11:30am.
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Taking place on Saturday January 25, Fremantle’s One Day celebration will showcase Indigenous food, culture and music. The event will kick off at 8am with a Smoking Ceremony, with bush tucker tastings, boomerang painting, storytelling, poetry readings and lots more taking place across the day.
Fremantle’s One Day celebration is happening on Saturday January 25 from 8am at Kidogo Arthouse Precinct and Bathers Beach.
Meeting at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Hobart’s Change the Date rally will make its way to Parliament Lawns on Invasion Day morning. The rally will host a range of speakers, including Mayor of City of Hobart Anna Reynolds, and a range of Indigenous activists and allies.
Hobart’s Change the Date rally is happening from 11am at Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
For a full list of Invasion Day protests happening across Australia, visit tellthetruth.org.
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