January 26 has long been a day of mourning and sorrow for Indigenous Australians as celebrations by non-Indigenous peers take place across the nation.
Better known by community as ‘Invasion Day’, for many the date has become synonymous with protest.
To support Australia’s First Peoples, read on to see where Invasion Day rallies and other cultural events are taking place across the country. Each event is following strict COVID safety precautions.
A 4.30am dawn service and smoking ceremony will take place at Kings Domain Resting Place. However, registration is closed as capacity for the event has been reached.
An Invasion Day rally will follow at 10.30am, starting from Parliament House on Spring Street. Masks and sanitiser must be used, whilst groups of 100 people must maintain a 10-metre distance from one another to comply with restrictions.
Share the Spirit Festival is a limited attendance event which will also be livestreamed from midday.
Meet at 9am at Djarrbarrgalli (The Domain) for Sydney’s rally. COVID-safe registration is required here, masks must be worn, and marshals will be monitoring the crowd to ensure compliance with restrictions.
Yabun Festival will also be running on the same day, celebrating the cultures of Australia’s First Peoples.
Starting events on Sunday, a smoking ceremony is set to take place at 8.00am on Bathers Beach.
On Tuesday, a yarning circle will be held at Yagan Square Amphitheatre from 11.30am to 12.30pm before the rally kicks off nearby at 1.00pm.
Greens candidates Dorinda Cox, Tamara Alderdice, Clint Uink, and Daniel Garlett will lead the Yarning circle, joined by allies.
The Invasion Day rally will start at Forrest Place on Wellington Street from 1pm, with face masks and hand sanitiser required.
The Greens have been assisting with the logistics for the Perth events, with 30-40 party members expected to attend Sunday’s smoking ceremony.
“It’s a failure of the major parties that here in Perth, on the lands stolen from the Whadjuk peoples, the Greens are once again the only political party turning up to be in solidarity with First Nations peoples on Invasion Day,” said Dorinda Cox, Noongar Yamatji woman and lead Senate candidate for the Greens in the next federal election.
“It’s time to listen to First Nations people when they tell this truth and be part of addressing the contemporary consequences of invasion and the intergenerational trauma, the resulting dispossession and marginalisation that is part of our unfinished business.”
“We invite everyone in our community to join us in solidarity with First Nations people and join us in this movement for justice that is so long overdue.”
The Survival Day 2021 Concert is on from 1.00pm to 7.00pm at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Although pre-purchase tickets are sold out, some tickets will be for sale at the door.
For Meanjin’s Invasion Day rally, meet at 8.00am at Musgrave Park for a flag-raising, or at 10.00am at Queens Gardens for the rally and march starting at 11.00am back up to Musgrave Park.
A pop-up mini market at each of the locations will be supporting Indigenous businesses, with masks and sanitiser required for COVID-safety.
A Survival Day march has been cancelled, and details for any replacements have not yet come through.
An Invasion/Survival Day 2021 event is set to be held from 10.00am at Civic Park in Darwin City, where social distancing is being encouraged.
A Change the Date rally is being held at both Parliament House Lawns in Hobart and Devonport Bluff near the Surf Lifesaving Club, both at midday. Social distancing and sanitising are both required to follow Tasmanian restrictions.
Other events will be held in other cities and regional centres across Australia, check your social media for an event near you.
By Aaron Bloch