News & Media Releases

Yarra Council to discuss the future of its Australia Day events with the local Aboriginal community

08 February 2017

Yarra Council has voted unanimously to begin discussions with the local Aboriginal community regarding the future of Council events on Australia Day.

Yarra Mayor, Cr Amanda Stone said, “Australia Day is currently celebrated on 26 January and we acknowledge that this is a day of sorrow and pain for many Aboriginal people.”

“For many Australians, 26 January represents the start of a process of dispossession of land, as well as the loss of language, culture and people that has had long term negative impacts that are still experienced today.”

“Discussions with the Wurundjeri Council and our own Aboriginal Advisory Group will help us decide whether we should continue to hold formal events on this day or if other arrangements would be more respectful and inclusive.”

“Non-Aboriginal community members have also expressed some passionate views on this issue, so as time goes on we’ll be widening the discussion to include the entire Yarra community.”

The Mayor acknowledged that many within the Yarra community would like to see the date of Australia Day changed.

“While we don’t have the ability to change the date of a national holiday ourselves, we can listen to our community and advocate on its behalf. We can also look closely at the ways we mark the existing day as a Council.”

Discussions around this issue are in the early stages and Council will announce opportunities for community members to have their say in the coming months.



For media enquiries, please contact:

Brooke Colbert
Manager – Communications Advocacy, Engagement and Media
0409 267 439



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