26 January marks the beginning of British colonisation and the over-riding of Indigenous nations in this nation now known as Australia. Calling this day “Australia Day” is not inclusive given the painful associations it has for many First Nations people and allies standing beside them, and that colonisation has not provided an equal benefit to all.
26 January was marked by First Nations people and allies, as ‘Day of Mourning’ in 1938. In recent times it has become known as ‘Invasion Day’, ‘Survival Day’, or ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’. The Northey Street City Farm community recognises that First Nations sovereignty of this land has never been ceded. We recognise the ongoing connection to and sovereignty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have of this land.
We recognise the dispossession of land and the many massacres that occurred on this continent. We recognise that many First Nations people were prevented from speaking their languages and practising their culture. We recognise that First Nations people continue to be incarcerated at disproportionate levels and continue to be discriminated against through structures of oppression which are present in our society. It has been an immense, long, hard-fought struggle for First Nations people to hold the space for this conversation.
We believe that truth-telling about these past and present injustices are a key part of creating a more just Australia. We recognise that healing these issues is complex and takes time. Northey Street City Farm as a community is working to support the agency of First Nations voices and doing our own work to listen and respond.
We work to mitigate the harm done by colonisation to the land and people and we stand in solidarity with First Nations people in their right to self-determination.