Our First Peoples are the traditional custodians of our beautiful lands and waterways and have a fundamental role in the great Australian story. We aspire to an Australia Day that can increasingly include a recognition and celebration by all Australians of the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to our nation.
January 26 has multiple meanings: it is Australia Day for some, and it is also, for some, Survival Day.
Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have mixed feelings about celebrating this day - some consider it a day of mourning, and others use the day to mark the survival of their ongoing traditions and cultures.
It's important that these views are respected and that collectively we have constructive conversations about this history and seek ways to move forward together as a nation.
Our national day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and learn about our nation's past. It's a time to reflect on and learn about our national journey including the ongoing history, traditions and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Encouraging Australians to come together and acknowledge the past – in particular our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, is at the centre of the NADC’s efforts to ensure our national day is one that is inclusive of the stories and histories of all Australians.
The Australia Day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Acknowledgement Project is designed to encourage Councils and local Aboriginal Communities to work together in participating in meaningful, reflective, and respectful Australia Day events.
Following the success of the 2020 pilot program, the focus moving forward is to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Acknowledgement ceremonies held across the country on Australia Day.
The objective of the Australia Day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Acknowledgment project is to:
- Encourage councils nationally to proactively engage with local indigenous groups to hold inclusive events on Australia Day.
- Encourage councils and community groups to further engage with local Aboriginal communities to reflect on our indigenous history and culture.
- Encourage everyone to reflect on and respect the contributions of all Australians.
- To foster constructive, respectful discussion about the contributions of all Australians past, present and future.