It is time to step up and show up as allies to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in your communities and lives.

26 January marks the beginning of the attempted removal and genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their land, and the attempted erasure of their culture, the impacts of which are still deeply felt today.

26 January is a day of mourning. It is not a day to celebrate.

The YACVic offices will be open and our staff will be working their usual hours on 25 and 26 January, regardless of the public holiday. We urge our members and other organisations to do the same.

Reconciliation and racial justice goes far beyond changing the date or refusing a public holiday.

It is time to step up and show up as allies to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in your communities and lives.

We actively encourage truth-telling about the violent history of Australia, and the ongoing effects of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is an important part of tackling systemic racism and the ongoing effects of colonisation, as is recognising and celebrating the wisdom, beauty and strength of Aboriginal culture.

We applaud everybody working tirelessly to change minds, change laws and change systems.

And we call on federal, state, and local governments to work collectively with the Australian community to address inequalities and to enable true sovereignty and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Media Contact: Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0431 285 275, or tfeng@yacvic.org.au for interviews with YACVic.

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and youth workers in Victoria. Our vision is that young people are active, visible and valued in their communities.