The Curtin Student Guild is the first student organisation in Australia to protest celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January, a date of dispossession.
This move follows a growing sense of discord in celebrating the 26th of January as “Australia Day” on what is regarded as a day of mourning, loss and survival for the first Australians.
Influenced by the City of Fremantle’s controversial decision to move its fireworks and create a more culturally inclusive celebration on an alternative date, the Curtin Student Guild decided to take a stand.
The elected student representatives are leading by example and will be working the Public Holiday as are many Guild staff.
The decision to boycott celebrating Australia Day on 26 January was first announced on Curtin Student Guild’s Facebook page last week and drew both positive and negative feedback.
The Guild’s Indigenous Officer, Sharleah Ramirez a Ngarluma, Karriyarra, Yindjibarndi, Nyul Nyul and Ngikina woman from the Pilbara and Kimberly region of Western Australia, is proud to support this cause and says it means a lot to her that the Guild is willing to stand up to support the #changethedate campaign.
“Men and women were enslaved, families were ripped apart and children were subject to mental, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse…This is what the 26th of January represents to me, the true impact and effect of colonisation.”
“The Guild knows that this is the first step in changing community perceptions about this important issue.
Universities and student organisations should be thought leaders and we call on students across the country to join us tomorrow,” said Liam O’Neill.
Don’t Celebrate Dispossession. Change the Date.
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