YACVic will be working instead of the public holiday, in recognition of the tragic impacts of British colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and First Nations people of many other countries and communities. Staff will be working, and will take a day’s leave at another time.

Young people and the youth sector are strong allies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and it’s up to all of us to step up and show up in critical moments like this. Clothing the Gaps has put out an outstanding guide to navigating allyship as an individual here.

The passing of the Queen, while sad for many, does not erase the violent dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from Country, separation of families and communities, and attempted elimination of the longest, continuing culture in the world.

"I won’t be taking September 22nd as a public holiday and will be working to honour and pay respects to my ancestors," said one of YACVic’s Aboriginal young staff members.

YACVic applauds the ongoing process around Treaty and the work of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. We support Aboriginal self-determination to make decisions that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, culture and Country.

Working on 22 September is just one more way to recognise the trauma inflicted by colonisation on First Nations communities here and in many other countries, and the importance of truth-telling and healing, and respecting, supporting and sustaining First Nations cultures for generations to come.