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How To (Safely) Take Part In Invasion Day Protests This Year

Whether you're attending in-person, or at home.

Another year has rolled around, and still, Australia Day is marked on January 26—the day that signifies beginning of the British colonisation in 1788 on land that always was, always will belong to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

For many Australians, this day is no celebration—it is a date that signifies the devastating loss of land, family and the practice of their culture. 

As the years have gone on, pressure on the government to change the date of Australia Day is increasing rapidly—and this year is no different. 

Instead of celebrating the public holiday with beers, barbecues and pool parties, many will choose not to partake, nor recognise this day as any kind of celebration. Instead, it is recognised as Invasion Day. 

Invasion Day is usually spent attending protests in Australia’s major cities, but this year, the current surge in Omicron cases across Australia means some of the usual events have been changed, or moved online.

With that said, you can still protest on Invasion Day this year—below, we’ve rounded up all the ways you can do this safely. 

Attend a protest (safely)

All protest events across Australia are being held in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. This includes wearing a mask at all times, practicing social distancing, and staying home if you have tested positive to COVID, or are showing any symptoms

Below, protests and times within Australia’s main cities on January 26

Sydney (Warrang)

Town Hall, 10am: March to Victoria Park via the Day of Mourning site. See the Facebook event here

Melbourne (Naarm) / all of Victoria

Holding a virtual event with Victorian NAIDOC called 2022 Invasion Day Dawn Service. Register for free and tune in at 6.15am here. 

Brisbane (Meanjin)

Parliament House, 9am: March to Musgrave Park for speeches, music and food. Hosted by Yuggera peoples. See the Facebook event here

Adelaide (Tarndanya)

Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga: Opening ceremony at 12:30 before a march departing at 1pm. See the Facebook event here

Perth (Boorloo)

Forrest Place, 12pm: Speeches, then march through the streets at 2pm. See the Facebook event here

Canberra (Ngambri Ngunnawal)

Aboriginal Tent Embassy, 10am: This year marks its 50th anniversary. See the Facebook event here

Hobart (Nipaluna) and all of Tasmania

Holding an online rally featuring key-note speakers live streamed from 11.45am. More information via the Facebook event here.  

Check out Change It Ourselves

This year, online information hub Change It Ourselves is encouraging people to take matters into their own hands by spearheading independent campaigns within their workplaces to encourage those around them to celebrate Australia Day on a different date—or to forgo it altogether. 

The website has a number of useful resources about the history and debate around the date of Australia Day, plus a range of conversation starters and tips for speaking to people around you about why we shouldn’t celebrate on January 26. 

It also has a step-by-step guide for both employees or employers to raise awareness and change attitudes towards January 26 in their workplaces. 

To add, it has a range of posted your can download and print—ready for display anywhere from noticeboards, to posting it on social media. 

You can register your support and follow the guide here

Post about it on social media

While we’re on the topic, social media can be a powerful tool to make a statement. Every year on January 26, many Australians take to social media to post messages and pictures in support of changing the date.

Whether it’s geo-tagging the traditional land you reside on, posting a graphic or writing a message—the more people talk about it, the more momentum we’ll gain. 

Educate and donate 

You can also educate yourself—and therefore others—safely from home by watching NITV’s coverage on January 26. The channel will roll coverage on the protests and share insights throughout the entire day. 

You can also donate to a number of organisations helping to support the Indigenous community in may different ways, including providing legal support, addressing causes for incarceration, children’s education and support for the Indigenous LGBTQI+ community. 

Some donation links are below:

Aboriginal Legal Service for NSW and ACT

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movementfor SA

Aboriginal Legal Servicefor WA

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Black Rainbow – which supports the Indigenous LGBTIQ+ community

Change The Record – which aims to address the causes of indigenous incarceration

Yalari – offers quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities

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