January 26 means different things to different people. For some, it is the day of invasion. For some, a day of mourning.
At VACCA, we recognise January 26 as Survival Day. On this day we recognise the strength and resilience of our people, while acknowledging the ongoing effects of colonisation.
However, we know that this time can be difficult for mob. The news and our social media feeds can be loud, angry and divisive.
It is important to take care of yourself and find a way to spend the day that works for you:
- Seek solidarity – take part in an event with community and allies. There are many events happening all around Victoria.
- Take time out – avoid social media, turn off the news.
- Have a yarn – spend time with family and friends, call an Elder, or join a yarning circle online.
- Connect to culture – perform ceremonies or rituals, take part in cultural activities and crafts, or celebrate Blak excellence with Aboriginal made art, music, film, and books.
- Walk on Country – connect with your surroundings by walking on Country barefoot.
- Practice mindfulness – find an app (try Headspace), or use our Four Elements exercise.
Remember, is not your responsibility to educate others about January 26. You can refuse to take on more cultural load. Resources for allies can be found online.
We are culture. We are community. We are 65,000 years.
On January 26, we will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We will remember our Elders and the trailblazers who have fought for change, and we honor those who have paid a heavy price in fighting for our rights and freedoms. We will acknowledge all who stand with us as we continue to advocate for better outcomes for Aboriginal children and families in Victoria.
Our work continues.