The 26th of January is a date that causes more debate than no other public holiday around the world. Is it Australia Day? Invasion Day? Day of Morning? Who the bloody hell knows.
The 26th January for some is Australia Day on which Captain Arthur Phillip raised the flag of Great Britain and proclaimed a colonial outpost of the British Empire in Port Jackson, later Sydney Cove.For others it is a Day of Morning, In 1938, on the 150th anniversary celebrations, William Cooper, a member of the Aboriginal Progressive Association, and other activists met and held a 'Day of Mourning and Protest’. The first Day of Mourning was held in Sydney in 1938, the 150th anniversary of the First Fleet landing in Sydney Cove. Participants marched in silent protest from Town Hall to the Australian Hall in Elizabeth Street.
Invasion Day is also seen as an opportunity to assert the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. Each year, marches are held in cities around Australia protesting the 'celebration' of Australia Day and calling for sovereignty and social justice for Indigenous Australians.
And last but not least important is Survival Day which for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Australia Day is also an opportunity to recognise the survival of our people and our culture. Despite colonisation, discrimination and comprehensive inequalities, we continue to practise our traditions, look after the land and make our voices heard in the public sphere. We survive.