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The Curtin Student Guild represents a large portion of the people who live and study in the Town of Victoria Park, and we don't believe that the 26th of January is something to celebrate.
For many of Australia's First Nations people Australia Day has different names, including Day of Mourning, Invasion Day, and Survival Day: it marks the arrival of the First Fleet in New South Wales and the brutal process of colonisation that ensued. In the words of Nakkiah Lui, the 26th of January is a day in which "we mourn the declaration of Australia as terra nullius (land that belongs to no one) as well as those who have died in massacres, those who were dispossessed of their land and homes, those were denied their humanity, those who were shackled, beaten, sent to prison camps, and made to live in reserves".
We recognise that the Town of Victoria Park will not be able to boycott its arranged Australia Day celebrations in 2019, and that choosing not to celebrate the 26th of January in the future will not undo the severe and ongoing injustice and trauma faced by Australia's Indigenous people, but we believe it is an important and simple step in the right direction. Choosing not to engage with a symbol so needlessly disrespectful demonstrates that the Town of Victoria Park recognises Australia's real history and will no longer turn a blind eye to the struggle of its First Nations people.
Cody Robinson, Indigenous Department Officer
Finlay Nolan, Curtin Student Guild President
This petition has been prepared in conjunction with a formal petition which can be found at reception in the Guild Building, 106F, Curtin University, and will be delivered to the Town of Victoria Park