Australia Day - more accurately known as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day” is our most absurd national celebration. The date is poorly chosen, so flagrantly disinterested in the histories of the indigenous peoples, or the insult of that it underscores - that it is almost satirical. To most aboriginal people - “Australia Day” means invasion, occupation, land theft, child theft and genocide for fucks sake. Yet we carry on with a state sanctioned day that celebrates this history.
White Australia has never been very good at listening. If we were, it would not have taken this long for a “Change the Date” campaign to gather steam. Frankly, if we were good listeners, a lot of terrible things, a lot of the violence we are responsible for may just have been avoided all together.
So this January 26th, if you do anything at all, make it a day of listening. Make every day after that a day of listening.
One very simple way to do that is to insert some aboriginal voices into your media consumption, and your social media feeds. Here are some strong indigenous women who we think will inject a little more deadly into your daily scroll.
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman and self professed “Black Feminist Ranter” (and personal hero). She has some of the sharpest political analysis going around, and covers critical issues such as structural racism, and the intersections of indigeneity and feminism. She is also just a fucking great writer.
Anita Hiess is a Wiradjuri woman, presenter, commentator and prolific author. Her work traverses history, politics, poetry, chick lit and even children’s books. Her work is astute and places the indigenous experience into contemporary literature – and has won her multiple Deadly Awards.
Marcia Langton is a fierce, and controversial academic, writer and indigenous justice advocate. Although her support for corporate investment in indigenous communities, and the appalling NT intervention make her a contentious figure - she has made important contributions to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1989), the Native Title Act (1993) and is today one of the leading architects of the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians. No matter what you make of some of her work, as The Monthly says in their profile of her: she “has a way of making you want to read about things you never thought you’d ever want to read about.”
Sharna is the Co-Founder of The Fabric Social, a social enterprise working exclusively with conflict-affected women. The Fabric Social work to transform one of the greatest causes of poverty: armed conflict. You can shop, donate, or get involved here.
Photo credits The Age, SBS