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Australia Day Events That Celebrate Aboriginal Culture & Diversity

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by Sharon Pegrum (subscribe)
Writing is my passion, I love to write for clients and guest blogs, as well as sharing our adventures here on Weekend Notes. I share my journey as I blend my own VA business and homeschooling with life in Toodyay here -
Celebrate Aboriginal Culture this Australia Day
Australia Day in Perth conquers up images of Skyworks on the foreshore or a BBQ by the beach.

But the controversy in recent years around changing the date to a more culturally sensitive one has many people considering what Australia Day really means to them and what other alternatives there are.

What can you do on Australia Day then?

This Australia Day, you can become part of the growing number of Australians who are making a conscious choice to learn about and respect Aboriginal culture, connect with the community and broaden your knowledge of Aboriginal Human Rights.

You can be part of creating a community we are all proud of and we all matter in. Rather than one that celebrates a history of injustice that we pretend is ok because it was in the past.

Here are some Australia Day activities that you can attend which will show your solidarity with Aboriginal people, help you learn about their culture and you might just have an awesome time too.

Food Brings Us Together - A showcase of indigenous food, arts and culture. You can book your ticket here

Moore and Moore Cafe, Fremantle
Saturday 28th January, 4pm - 9pm

Dreamtime Aboriginal Heritage Culture Cruise - hosted by George Walley with morning tea by Bindi Bindi Dreaming. Bookings here.

Mandurah, WA
Saturday 28th January, 10.30am - 12pm

Bathers Beach Smoking Ceremony -
led by Neville Collard, a community event by City of Fremantle.

Saturday 28th January, 7am

One Day in Fremantle -
a free family event celebrating diversity with a huge lineup of bands.

The Esplanade, Fremantle
Saturday 28th January, 2pm

Birak Concert 2018 -
a celebration of Nyoongar music, dance, art, food and drink, this concert is named after the Nyoongar season of the months of December and January. It is a celebration of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and all are welcome. You can find more details here

Hannah McGlade tells us about what Australia Day means to her

Hannah McGlade is a Nyungar human rights lawyer and academic who is passionate about bringing together our diverse community whilst raising awareness around the needs and challenges of Aboriginal people.

I chatted to Hannah recently about Australia Day and what it really means for Aboriginal people. If you don't already know Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships. It is the point at which Aboriginal people no longer inhabited this country alone and also the start of many challenges for Aboriginal people.

Hannah told me that for her and many people in her community it also "marks the unlawful disposition of Aboriginal people and the consequences of that are some that impact our lives every day in a very real way".

This day can bring back a lot of pain and suffering for many Aboriginal people and you can see why it may be a really triggering date to choose for a celebration. It signifies a time when Aboriginal people were treated as subhuman and some of those prejudices are still playing out today.

Hannah works tirelessly as a campaigner for Aboriginal Human Rights as well as being a foster carer and Senior Indigenous Research Fellow at Curtin University.

She is particularly focused on the plight of Aboriginal children and the high rate of their removal from families and their communities. As a human rights lawyer she has been instrumental in changing the dialogue around Aboriginal people in WA and Australia wide.

Other things you can do

Attend the Invasion Day Rally - if you are interested in publicly declaring your opposition to Australia Day there is more information here

Spend some time connecting to nature - Reflect on what you can do to create more equality in your community and connect to our great land.

Increase your own knowledge - If you plan on staying home on Australia Day it is a great opportunity for you to increase your own knowledge surrounding the injustices that Aboriginal Australians suffer. Even if you don't think you agree you can spend some time exploring other people's point of view. Knowledge is a great gift for everyone and who knows you might learn something new and change your own opinion. Family Matters is a great place to start if you want to read about the issues facing Aboriginal children and youth. You can also check out many conversations online about the current issues like this and this.

Check out what is happening near you -You can also use the long weekend to check out some local Aboriginal businesses that you may want to visit this year for example Bindi Bindi Dreaming or Njaki Njaki Tours

There are plenty of options for Australia Day that are culturally respectful. Use this day as a day to show that as a nation we are growing in our awareness of Aboriginal Human Rights and we are willing to explore other points of view and do things differently as we learn better ways.
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Why? Cultural Awareness around Australia Day
When: 28 January 2018
Where: Perth and Fremantle
Cost: Mostly free
Your Comment
Thank you for this article Sharon. I hope it encourages people to reflect on what being Australian really means to them, and perhaps to try something different on the 26th.
by May Cross (score: 3|6949) 930 days ago
Am so glad you wrote this article Sharon.
by Andie (score: 0|2) 930 days ago
Thank you !, Hannah ! We need more people like you !
by Booth (score: 0|2) 920 days ago
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