For Tim Sculthorpe, a proud palawa man from lutruwita (Tasmania) and head of marketing at Aboriginal-led not-for-profit Welcome to Country, it’s high time Australia stopped celebrating January 26th: a date that marks the beginning of invasion and colonisation of Indigenous land. Here’s what he thinks Australians can do to show their support instead.
Note: The following article discusses themes of invasion and colonisation that may be distressing to some readers. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Welcome to Country’s position on the issue, nor that of the broader First Nations communities.
It’s time to ditch a date built on land theft, dispossession, generational trauma and widespread oppression.
For most Aboriginal peoples like me, the 26th of January isn’t known as ‘Australia Day’, but Invasion Day or Survival Day. And with the 26th of January it’s good to remember that Australia is, was and always will be Aboriginal land. Sovereignty was never ceded.
In case you missed it: The First Fleet sailed into Sydney Cove in 1788 and declared Terra Nullius, justifying the acquisition of Australia by British occupation without treaty or payment. In the 10 years that followed, it’s estimated that the First Nations population was reduced by 90%.