Statement on January 26

Monday 14 January 2019

Yarra City Council will be marking January 26, 2019 with respect and sensitivity. 

“We have a lot to celebrate in Yarra: a rich and varied culture, a welcoming home and vibrant community plus our unique natural environment,” said Yarra Mayor, Cr Danae Bosler.

“Our national day should be a time for celebration. It should be a day that our whole community can look forward to, including our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Yarra’s Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri, and others in our local Aboriginal community, have told us over many years January 26 is a day of pain and sadness for them. It represents the beginning of the significant loss of life, culture, language and land of their ancestors. We need to respect and acknowledge their experiences of this date.

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

“That’s why, as a council we made the unanimous decision in 2017 to change how we mark January 26. We recognise this is a day of mourning for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and not an appropriate time for our national celebration.

“We have a strong and longstanding relationship with our local Aboriginal community, and we’re very proud to stand together with them on this important issue. 

“We look forward to a time when our national celebration takes place on a date that we can all be proud of,” said Cr Bosler. 

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.

Find out more about events and news on the Celebrating Aboriginal Culture in Yarra Facebook page

Yarra City Council supports the Change the Date campaign. To find our more, visit the Change The Date Yarra Facebook page.


Media enquiries

For media enquiries, contact Brooke Colbert on 0409 267 439 or Jessica Matrakis on 0439 842 806.


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