In the lead up to January 26th, many First Nations people are speaking loud and clear about their thoughts and feelings around national celebrations on this date, and several other issues that surround the conversation. The wider community is also being called upon to take action and to show their support.
As proud allies to the Indigenous community ourselves, we realise that it isn’t always easy to know the best course of action to take. Sometimes it can be hard to know what’s a help and what’s a hinderance when it comes to sensitive issues, so we have brought together some voices, tools and resources in three basic steps to help make things a little clearer for you.
1. Get Informed
January 26 is a day of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
And I know many non-Aboriginal people feel deep shame about the true history of Australia. This is a history we haven’t yet dealt with. There’s work to do together so we can find peace and justice and move forward as a nation. Treaty is key to this.
This week, I ask everyone to remember January 26 isn’t a day to celebrate. It’s a day to mourn, reflect and listen to First Nations people. It’s a day to show up, listen, and be part of the truth-telling we need to heal as a nation.
This year many First Nations people will be feeling added sorrow for the damage to country and sacred places from drought, bushfires and extreme weather driven by the climate emergency. Now more than ever, we need to ensure we listen to First Nations peoples and protect Country."
Djabwurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman
Greens Senator for Victoria
There are plenty of resources available that outline the facts and how you can help. Here are some that we’ve found useful:
2. Amplify Indigenous Voices
Once you've gained a clearer understanding of the facts, it’s time to help spread the word with your friends, family and followers. Not sure what to say? Not a problem. Plenty of Indigenous Australians are speaking up, so the best thing allies can do right now is to help spread these voices, rather than speak for them.
Social media is a wonderful tool for doing this, and there are plenty of Indigenous-run accounts creating assets full of clear, simple, impactful information, perfect for sharing with your online community, such as these below.
3. Attend an Event
So you’ve gotten informed, spread the word and now you’re ready to stand in solidarity? Attending an event is a great way to show your support.
It's one of the most difficult days on the calendar for so many, and the best way you can help us get through is by showing your support.
I find a lot of people are unsure whether it’s their place to join us at marches, protests and Survival Day events, but I can’t emphasise enough that you are not only welcome there, but enthusiastically encouraged to come along.”
Tiddas 4 Tiddas co-founder
Proud Kamilaroi/Dunghutti woman
You can RSVP to a Survival/Invasion Day event in the major cities around the country via the GetUp! website. There is the option to attend an online rally instead if you are concerned that attending in-person may be a health risk.
We at Life Apparel stand in solidarity with Australia’s First Nations community, both in difficult moments and at every other time of year. We acknowledge the injustices on which this nation was founded, and realise that they are still very present today. We realise there is still much work to do. We will continue to strive to be the best possible allies to our Indigenous friends by listening to and learning from the voices within our community, and by helping to raise these voices as best we know how.
(Banner image by Priscilla Du Preez)