A Challenge to Aussies: Connect With Indigenous People and Attend an Event on January 26 – Hope 103.2

A Challenge to Aussies: Connect With Indigenous People and Attend an Event on January 26

By Clare BruceSunday 19 Jan 2020

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, January 26th is known by many names, including a “Day of Mourning”, “Invasion Day”, “Survival Day” and “Sovereignty Day”.

To help Australians learn about and pay respect to the indigenous experience of Australia Day, the Christian justice organisation Common Grace has compiled a list of events and rallies happening on or before January 26, and is encouraging Australians of all backgrounds to attend one in their local community. See the list below for your nearest event.

In an interview with Stairway Church in Melbourne, Christian indigenous artist Safina Stewart explains why indigenous Australians – while they deeply love their many-coloured nation – experience great sadness each year on January 26.

“In the history of Australia, the 26th of January is not a day of celebration for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people,” she explains. “It is the day that we were invaded in 1788… so we have a great day of mourning on Australia Day.

“We feel the loss of our land, and our place, and our significance as a people… the loss of our babies, our parents, our grandparents, our great-great-great grandparents, our heroes. We feel the loss of our culture and expression of our culture. And so it’s actually a day of feeling very lost.

“And we’re in the midst of a country that puts on fireworks and parties and barbecues, and celebrates with beer and sunscreen and bikinis and beach – and we’re left gobsmacked, feeling very forgotten, feeling very disempowered.

“So Australia Day is actually a sad day for us and we try the best we can to hold strong to our sense of dignity and pride.”

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Not Unlike Anzac Day – A Day of Remembrance and Survival

Through tears, Safina say Aboriginal and Torres Strait people look hard for things to celebrate, such as the survival, resilience and achievements of their people, with many “Survival Day” events being held around the nation.

“We look at Australia Day similarly to Anzac Day – where we remember the soldiers of the past who gave themselves up, who were killed, murdered, raped, pillaged, stolen from, but who taught us down through the generations that we are who we are and we cannot lose that: no matter if its watered down through bloodline, no matter if it’s stripped out of us, beaten out of us, taught out of us, manipulated out of us,” she said.

“There’s a lot to be proud of because we’ve survived, and my prayer is not only that we can survive as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait nation but that we can thrive – and what we can offer would be embraced by the broader Australian community.”

Connect With Indigenous People; Be Their Friend

Safina stressed that indigenous people as the First Nations people of Australia, deeply love, welcome and “have tender hearts towards” Australia’s many cultures, and they desire to be one. But she believes that only God’s grace and love can help our nation’s many cultures to reconcile and live in peace and unity with one another.

“I see that we can’t do it unless we are embedded in Jesus,” Safina said. “He’s our only hope.”

When asked how Australians can better respect the indigenous experience on Australia Day, Safina said the key is friendship.

“I have many friends who are not indigenous what I appreciate about them is that they’re friends,” she said. “They live life in and amongst my family. They pray for us, they think of us, they do community with us, they love us in action as well as in words.

“Be our friend, think of us, pray for us, connect with us and love us in your word and action. The worst thing you can do is put us out of your mind, the worst thing you can do is try to forget us, ignore us. If you’re angry at us, that’s’ fine, just come and talk to us.

“Connect with us. Learn about indigenous culture. Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do to remember us.”

Where to Attend an Indigenous Cultural Event

People of faith are being encouraged to attend a “Change the Heart” church service in the lead up to Australia Day, while people of all backgrounds are encouraged to consider attending their nearest indigenous cultural event, with several being held Australia’s major cities on January 26, including the following gatherings:

NSW – Sydney

WARRANG (SYDNEY)
Invasion Day March 2020

Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 11am-1pm
@ Hyde Park South, Corner of Elizabeth & Liverpool Streets, Sydney CBD
https://www.facebook.com/events/2485513055016719/

WARRANG (SYDNEY)
Yabun Festival 2020  

Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 11am-7pm
@ Victoria Park, City Rd, Camperdown, Sydney 2050
https://www.facebook.com/events/2881696905389878/
http://yabun.org.au/

SYDNEY WEST
COOEE Festival 2020

Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 4pm-9pm
@ Regatta Park, 7 River Road, Emu Plains, NSW 2750
https://www.facebook.com/events/2989507791082340/

NSW – Coastal and Regional

NEWCASTLE 
Invasion Day March Rally Newcastle 2020
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 11am-1pm
@ Civic Park, Newcastle NSW 2300
https://www.facebook.com/events/804385923405429/

BERMAGUI 
Bermagui Survival Day 2020
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 1pm-5pm
@ Dickinson Oval, Bermagui, NSW
https://www.facebook.com/events/2154440811519390/

FORSTER 
Saltwater Freshwater Festival 202
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 10am-8pm
@ Forster Sporting Complex, Lake Street, Forster
https://www.facebook.com/events/1066376553704482/
http://www.saltwaterfreshwater.com.au/festival/

QLD

MEANJIN (BRISBANE, QLD)
Invasion Day March and Rally
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 10am-1pm
@ Queens Gardens (next to the Casino), Brisbane with march to Musgrave Park
https://www.facebook.com/events/822630271516631/

TENNYSON, QLD
Annual Survival Day Ceremony
Sunday January 26 2020 from 7:30 am
@Simpsons Playground (end of Graceville Avenue) Graceville
https://www.facebook.com/events/468653547390894/

TOWNSVILLE, QLD
Invasion Day Dawn Service
Sunday 26 January 2020 from 6am-7am
@ Perfume Gardens, cnr Stokes & Walker Streets, Townsville
https://www.facebook.com/BigEyeTheatre/photos/ (see Survival Day Poster)

TOWNSVILLE, QLD
Survival Day 2020
Sunday 26 January 2020 from 11am-4pm
@ Perfume Gardens, cnr Stokes & Walker Streets, Townsville
https://www.facebook.com/events/466695353888008/

VIC

NAARM (MELBOURNE, VIC)
Invasion Day Dawn Service
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 5.30am
War Memorial, Melbourne CBD
https://www.facebook.com/events/2243637565736246/

NAARM (MELBOURNE, VIC)
Invasion Day Dawn Service
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 5:30-6:30am
@ Kings Domain Resting Place – Alexandra Ave/Linlithgow Avenue opposite JLC Rotunda, Melbourne CBD
https://www.facebook.com/events/1056028034740801/

NAARM (MELBOURNE, VIC)
Melbourne Invasion Day 2020
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 11am-2pm
Parliament House, Spring Street, East Melbourne
https://www.facebook.com/events/598901190682574/

NAARM (MELBOURNE, VIC)
Share The Spirit Festival 2020
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 12midday-7pm
@ Treasury Gardens JKF Lawn 5, East Melbourne
https://www.facebook.com/events/483163889036714/

BALLARAT, VIC
Survival Day Dawn Ceremony, Lake Wendouree
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 5:30am – 6:30am
@ View Point, Lake Wendouree (opposite Lake View Hotel)
https://www.facebook.com/events/575474919691764/

BELGRAVE, VIC
2020 Belgrave Survival Day
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 12midday -4:30pm
Bill Borthwick Park (near Belgrave Pool) Benson Street, Belgrave
https://www.facebook.com/events/623418318228130/

BRUNSWICK, VIC
Survival Day – Blak Stage
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 6pm-3am
@ The Retreat Hotel, 280 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, VIC 3056
https://www.facebook.com/events/2396635633919899/

QLD

MEANJIN (BRISBANE, QLD)
Koobara Community Survival Day March 2020
Saturday 25 January 2020 from 9am-11am
@ Kurbingui shopfront, 425 Zillmere Rd, Zillmere, Brisbane
https://www.facebook.com/events/588572858577851/

MEANJIN (BRISBANE, QLD)
Koobara Community Day Event 2020
Saturday 25 January 2020 from 11am-3pm
@ Koobara Kindergarten, 421 Beams Rd, Taigum, Brisbane
https://www.facebook.com/events/2568796109824477/

WA

FREMANTLE, WA
One Day 2020/One Day In Fremantle
Saturday January 25 2020, from 8am-8pm
@ Kidogo Arthouse Precinct and Bathers Beach, off Mews Road, Fremantle,
https://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/community/civic-events/one-day-fremantle-australia-day-celebrations

TAS

POATINA, TAS
Terra Populous – Celebrating People + Place
Saturday January 25, from 12pm-3:30pm
@Poatina, Tasmania

January 26th

WA

PERTH, WA
Invasion Day Rally
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 12/12.30pm-3pm
@ Forrest Place, Boorloo/ Wellington Street, Perth CBD
https://www.facebook.com/events/535916450466931/

PERTH, WA
Birak Concert
Sunday 26 January 2020 from 3pm-7.30pm
@ Supreme Court Gardens, Cnr Barrack Street and Riverside Drive, Perth
https://www.visitperth.com.au/events/birak-concert-at-supreme-court-gardens

SA

ADELAIDE, SA
Survival Day 2020 Concert and Event
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 1pm-6pm
@ Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – 253 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, CBD
https://www.facebook.com/events/990570254647898/

TAS

NIPALUNA (HOBART TAS)
Invasion Day Rally
Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 11am
@ 198 Elizabeth Street to Parliament House Lawns, Nipaluna/Hobart
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TasmanianAboriginalCentre/

DEVONPORT, TAS
Invasion Day Event

Sunday 26 January 2020 from 11.45am
@ Devonport Bluff, off Bluff Road near the Surf Lifesaving Club
https://www.facebook.com/TasmanianAboriginalCentre/photos/a.675953102420401/3416062598409424/

NT

DARWIN, NT
26 January 2020: Always Was, Always Will Be
Sunday 26 January 2020 from 11.30am-2.30pm
@ Civic Park (park i Australien, Darwin City)
https://www.facebook.com/events/872053299905060/

 

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