Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) recognises 26 January as a day of mourning. It is not a date to celebrate.
The 2023 Voice to Parliament referendum process and result showed that Australia still struggles to have open, honest conversations about the truth of racism and colonisation in this country.
We saw disinformed, damaging rhetoric from politicians, the media and community members. This stoked racism against, and caused harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Three months on, acknowledging the true history of so-called Australia Day is one way non-Indigenous people can commit to a more equal future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The YACVic offices will remain open on 26 January and staff will work their usual hours in solidarity, substituting the day off at another time. We encourage our non-Indigenous members and others to join the growing number of workplaces also working the public holiday, and to listen to the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on what this day represents.
YACVic applauds the leadership of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria progressing Treaty negotiations, and the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s truth-telling processes.
Beyond this date, we urge the community to have respectful, productive and truthful conversations about discrimination, systemic racism and inequity in our country, and show non-partisan support for Treaty and truth.
Media Contact: Katia Pellicciotta (she/her), YACVic Media & Communications Coordinator on 9267 3744 or KPellicciotta@YACVic.org.au
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.