26 January

What we must remember is that our People and Country are resilient.

Monday, 20 January 2020 at 8:20 pm
Melbourne metropolitan
Department of Premier and Cabinet

As a First Nations People we were here before this land was proclaimed Australia and we understand the importance for our communities to celebrate the many achievements that can give us pride in who we are. For us, our recent history is a celebration of our survival and the achievements we have made with the State of Victoria. We are a strong and vibrant Peoples and we pride ourselves upon the ability to be resilient.

The history of our People, and the past effects upon our Ancestors when new-comers came to our Country, was largely a violent and traumatic period. The date of 26th January is seen by my People as a day of mourning and survival. The past intrusions are yet to be better understood and accepted by others and it is part of our vision that future generations will come to know of the truth in our shared history.

We feel that, when that time arises, we would all be better placed to realise a collective Australian identity to be shared and owned by all. We would believe that all our children, and those not yet born, deserve that honesty from us all. Doing this will stand any test as to our maturity as a collective caring community.

Traditional Owners now and into the future will continue to be a strong, constructive and respectful voice of advocacy for our Peoples’ proper place in community matters. We hope others will increasingly share this vision with us, so that one day we could lead the celebration of this land as our home.

Until then however, we cannot celebrate this event with you and the community.

Rodney Carter