January 26 is a sticking point for our nation - and it can be hard to know how to navigate the day. We have some ideas and resources to help you learn more, be inspired and find meaningful ways to respond on Australia Day.
How can I learn more about the issues surrounding Australia Day?
If you haven’t already read our timeline, we suggest you do! It lists 7 things you might not know about Australia Day, and is designed to help Aussies engage with what the day means for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Click to view the timeline.
This article also provides some more practical information on the day and the issues surrounding it, or you can read 10 things you should know about Australia Day on NITV.
What should I do on Australia Day?
There are lots of different ways you can respond to what you’ve been learning - here are just a few ideas:
1. Attend an event - There are lots of events on all around Australia that you can attend to show your solidarity with Indigenous Australians. These include Invasion Day events, Survival Day celebrations or prayer services (organised by Aunty Jean Phillips and Common Grace).
2. Do what you’d usually do - but commit to having a conversation about what Australia Day really means. Use the facts on our timeline to get things started. Tell someone something you learned that surprised you. Ask them why they like to celebrate being Australian, and remember to listen and be open to hearing their point of view. Send them the link to the timeline afterwards!
3. Explore your local area and get to know the history and culture. We have some guides to help you get started, but you should also be able to find information via your local council. On Australia Day, you might like to attend or create your own tour, visiting landmarks that are important for local Indigenous people.
4. Learn more about our history and listen to the stories of Indigenous Australians by watching a documentary like First Australians (SBS), our own Sharing our Story resource, or browsing the articles and stories on our website.
5. If you haven’t already, share our timeline on social media! It might feel like a small gesture, but it can make a world of difference for someone who hasn’t had a chance to learn more yet.
6. Share an acknowledgment on social media to pay your respects to the traditional custodians of the land you live on, or perhaps the land you’re spending Australia Day on. Common Grace have created a great tool to help you to do this.
7. Think about what your workplace can do - can you choose to take a public holiday on another day? You might be interested in Change It Ourselves - an initiative encouraging workplaces to celebrate Australia on a different day. But remember, there are other things you can do to show solidarity, such as making a public statement of acknowledgment, attending an event or event or watching a documentary together during the week.
Above all, remember: unity should be the outcome.
The conversation about Australia Day can get fired up, divisive and accusatory. But the further apart we get - the less likely we are to reach an outcome. Now more than ever, it’s important that we listen to one another, that we are informed about the facts, and that we seek to find a shared identity that includes all Australians, whether their ancestry reaches back tens of thousands of years, a hundred years, or they’ve just arrived.