For Aboriginal People, this day marks the start of a sustained violence and trauma that continues through the generations. An intrusion on Country, on our Peoples, on Culture, that will continue as a scar on our Peoples’ wellbeing forever.
It also marks the start of a new community, one called Australia.
While COVID has left us feeling in a state of limbo, we are in a period of great transition. Today, we live in a Victoria where the Yoorrook Justice Commission is seeking to expose an honest account of Australia’s history since 1788, the First People’s Assembly of Victoria is discussing Treaty\ies and racism is beginning to be called out as an act of human responsibility.
But, we still have a long way to go. This road is well trodden, but we will continue to walk it whilst insults, and violence, and gross incarceration rates, and poor economic outcomes, and shortened life expectancy, and cultural loss, and the destruction of Country are thrown at us.
When all this stops and we again practice culture on Country and live our best lives, free from the burdens of other peoples’ shame and anger, we can consider our collective identity.
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.
Reviewed 21 January 2022