After Melbourne’s Yarra City councillors decided last week that it was time to give Australia day celebrations the flick, it looks like another Council from down south has been inclined to agree.
Darebin Council has become the second Council to get rid of it’s Australia Day celebrations, reaching a decision after voting yesterday.
The council plans on executing a number of new strategies, including:
- hosting an event to celebrate Indigenous culture on another date;
- replacing the current Australia Day Awards with Darebin Community Awards, to be held on a different day;
- setting up new community awards specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- and moving citizenship ceremonies to other dates throughout the year.
The decision comes after nearly 12 months of tension surrounding the date of Australia Day, which many feels should be changed as the date represents a long history of oppression and discrimination.
Speaking on the decision, Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said, “We formally recognised that January 26 is not an inclusive date for our national celebration.
“January 26 is indelibly tied to the dispossession and subsequent oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and our Council cannot ignore the exclusion this entails and the impact it has on the health and well-being of our Indigenous community.
“We will support the broader movement to ‘change the date’ and have resolved to ensure that the way we mark January 26 in Darebin is inclusive and respectful of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”
After Yara decided to drop Australia Day, Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to strip Yarra of the authority to conduct citizenship ceremonies at all and both parties had some pretty prickly words for them.
It’s likely this will lead to more conversation taking place about changing the date, and about bloody time too.
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