“Too long have Aboriginal people been talked about rather than talked to…” – Aretha Brown
Invasion Day, sometimes referred to as Survival Day, commemorates the original invasion of the continent by the English colonisers, and the continued oppression of Aboriginal people since that time.
This year the Invasion Day March, organised by Celeste Liddle, was marked by a contingent of strong women leading the way.
Celeste, the main organiser of this year’s march talked about the disadvantages and continuous discrimination Indigenous people face in Australia.
“I can’t help but be angry. I’m the auntie of two nephews and one niece now, and I don’t want them to growing to be made to feel that their ancestors were worthless.”
The known feminist led the peaceful contingent of 50,000 down to Federation Square, the hub of Melbourne’s CBD.
However, little known 16-year-old Aretha Brown captivated audiences with her speech and powerful march. The year 11 student delivered a powerful speech in front of the tens of thousands.
“Too long have Aboriginal people been talked about rather than talked to…
“Too long have we set aside peoples’ public holidays over our pain and our history,
“It’s not right.”
Other strong women were clearly heard at the sit-in at Federation Square.
Referred by the state as ‘Australia Day’ the date has been marred from its inception a mere 23 years ago, in 1994.
Well-known comedian Jordan suggested changing the date to May 8, May8, Maaaaate.
The national holiday, along with others such as the Queen’s Birthday, ANZAC Day and so on, marks Australia’s ties to Britain and the ‘west’ in its continuous struggle for national identity, which has so far been tied to patriarchal Anglo-Saxon hegemony. There are no national holidays commemorating importance to Aboriginal heritage, cultures which collectively are the longest continuous cultures in the world. More than 10,000 years.
The idea of ‘Invasion Day’ has gained traction, most significantly in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, the idea of ‘Invasion day’ became “hot news” as prominent Indigenous Australians spoke out and entered the mainstream.
As Celeste pointed out at the time: “It never ceases to amaze me that people in Australia aren’t aware of the issues many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with this day, I am grateful that a simple [BuzzFeed] video has been able to educate a few more people and it gives me hope for a better future.”
This year a commercial campaign by the meat industry, ‘kicked off’ the talk about whether or not the date should be changed rather than just explainers on what Invasion Day means. The advert drew nation-wide acclaim for its ‘inclusive feel’
Yes, it was a great party and everyone had loads of fun… not to mention the genocide.
A more accurate depiction was published a day later…