26 January is not a day to celebrate.
26 January marks the start of the violent dispossession and genocide of the traditional custodians of our country. Although First Nations peoples have survived and remained strong, the lasting, traumatic effects are still unresolved.
In recognition of the true history and in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the YACVic office will not close on 27 January, and we urge our members and other youth services to do the same. YACVic staff who work this day and are able to take a holiday on a different day of their choice.
We have great respect for the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the face of history and recognise this time of the year can be difficult for First Nations people.
As the peak body for young people and the youth sector in Victoria, YACVic’s staff and Board share a vision where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their culture are respected and valued as a core part of our national identity. Australians must recognise self-determination in achieving this, and work actively in partnership and allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
We are proud to work closely with and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people every day.
We must continue to work together for a shared future in order to move forward and make our national day one that all Australians can be proud of.