Yarra Council will be marking Sunday 26 January 2020 with a reflection on the life and legacy of the late Herbert ‘Jock’ Austin – a respected and admired leader of Melbourne’s Aboriginal and sporting community.
Uncle Jock, a Gunditjmara man, dedicated his life to promoting sport as a way to improve wellbeing and foster pride within Yarra’s Aboriginal community, particularly with those experiencing severe disadvantage.
The tribute will include a traditional smoking ceremony to be performed by a local Elder and speeches reciting the legacy of Uncle Jock Austin.
January 26 is acknowledged by Council as a day of sadness, a day of mourning and a day of reflection. It’s also a day for recognising the strength of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Yarra Council made the decision in 2017 to rethink how it marks January 26, instead recognising it as a day of mourning for its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and not an appropriate time for a national celebration.
We continue to stand with our Aboriginal community on this very important issue, and look forward to a time where Australia’s national celebration takes place on a date everyone can be proud of.