Council and community to discuss Australia Day
Thursday, 22 November 2018
Inner West Council will engage with its community about how to make 26 January a more respectful and inclusive day for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The Citizenship Ceremony and other events scheduled for 26 January in 2019 will proceed.
As part of a review of all events on the Inner West Council calendar, Officers will consult with Aboriginal people and the broader community about changing the nature of the activities on 26 January in future years.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said Council will continue to hold a respectful Citizenship Ceremony on 26 January, but could hold a separate community festival in Marrickville during the summer season.
“For First Nations peoples, 26 January represents the beginning of invasion, dispossession, disease, stolen children and the deliberate elimination of language and culture,” he said.
“These are historical acts with very real contemporary consequences and as such, it is a difficult day for many Aboriginal people.
“It is sensible for us to consider how the nature of 26 January must change. It should be a day of commemoration and it is important that we talk to the community about what form they want the day to take,” he said.
In 2018, Council’s Australia Day event in Enmore Park included a solemn Citizenship Ceremony for 60 new Australian citizens and the presentation of the Citizen of the Year awards.
“This year, I was also able to award Euphemia Bostock, a nationally renowned Aboriginal artist and community activist as our Senior Citizen of the Year.
“Auntie Phemie has been contributing to the Inner West since before she was even counted as a citizen in this country.”
For further information, please contact Kate Walsh on 0421 224 366.