January 26 – A Day of Mourning

This Saturday, many of you will be celebrating Australia Day. However, this Saturday is not a day of celebration.

For most Indigenous Australians, January 26 is a day of mourning. It marks the beginning of more than 230 years of colonial violence, enslavement, and the dispossession of Aboriginal land. It marks the loss of culture, language and identity.

It is also a reminder of the continued structural oppression Indigenous Australians face every day. This country, and its Government, continue to destroy sacred land, separate Indigenous children from their families and let Aboriginal people die at the hands of police, prisons, hospitals and healthcare providers.

Until we have reconciled the atrocities we have, and continue to commit against Indigenous Australia, we cannot celebrate what makes this country great. This Union stands with Indigenous activists who, on Saturday, are calling to abolish Australia Day.

UMSU recognises the continued fight of Indigenous people across the country against the structural racism, oppression and dispossession occurring on the stolen lands we work, live and learn on. UMSU stands in solidarity with Indigenous activists who risk their lives to fight against these structures in our society, and we encourage all students to spend this Saturday standing in solidarity with our Indigenous community at the Melbourne Invasion Day Rally, held on the steps of Parliament House at 10:30am. The link to the event is as follows;

https://www.facebook.com/events/218569075761924/

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Molly Willmott
UMSU President