Statement on January 26, 2021

Yarra City Council will be marking January 26, 2021 with respect and sensitivity.

“It’s important we acknowledge the history and culture of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and respect their experience of this date,” said Yarra Mayor, Cr Gabrielle de Vietri.

“Yarra’s Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people, and others in our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, have told us January 26 is a day of mourning, pain and disconnection for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.”

“For many members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, this day is a reminder of the significant loss of life, culture, language and land since European invasion.”

“Yarra is a welcoming home to a vibrant, diverse community. Our national day should be one that everyone in our community can celebrate and look forward to.

We recognise January 26 is not an appropriate day for national celebration, as not all members of Yarra’s community can be included,” said Cr de Vietri.

Yarra Council has a strong and longstanding relationship with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

The unanimous decision to change the way we mark January 26 was made by Yarra City Council on 15 August 2017 (read the full Council resolution).

Yarra is home to a proud local Aboriginal history, with Fitzroy and Collingwood being the birthplace of the Victorian Aboriginal civil rights movement. A progressive, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander urban community grew right here in Yarra, and Aboriginal culture is still thriving here today.

More about January 26 and Aboriginal culture in Yarra

Learn more about January 26 in Yarra, including Q&As

Learn about Yarra’s proud Aboriginal history.

Visit the Celebrating Aboriginal Culture in Yarra Facebook page.

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