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This week is a sorrowful one for me - By Dannielle, our Social Media Manager

Jan 26, 2023

This week is a sorrowful one for me - as a proud Gamilaraay yinarr (woman) I am painfully
reminded that sovereignty was never ceded on these stolen lands; from the moment
Captain Cook “discovered” Botany Bay and was met with resistance from men of the
Gwaegal clan of the Dharawal Nation yet deemed this land Terra Nullius or land unoccupied,
to his Royal “claim” of the East Coast of Australia for the British Empire on the 22nd of
August 1770, through the ongoing invasion when the First Fleet landed on Botany Bay on
the 18th, 19th and 20th January 1788 and the subsequent genocide of my ancestors that is
barely even recognised to this day.

We are still the subject of Human Rights abuses; from deaths in custody, inhumane housing
of our elders (who also die younger as well), the outright erasure and then the denial of that
erasure of our culture and history - only to be wheeled out for show when overseas visitors
come - like silverware.

One of those painful erasures is the history of the Public Holiday that is on the calendar this
week - Australia Day. The date is what has long been known to be an Aboriginal Day of
Mourning. In fact, it has been 85 years since William Cooper, Jack Patten and other
community leaders held the first Day of Mourning at Sydney Town Hall on 26 January 1938
and not much has changed. Our existence is an act of resistance!

We find ourselves in 2023 making the same demands. We’re sick of being ‘advisors’ on our
own lives while the violent state continues to murder us, lock us up, steal our children,
destroy our sacred land and culture.

While today many are taking a day off, having BBQ’s and celebrating nationality, I will be
mourning the loss of culture, people, and history where in that void lies pain, discrimination
and uncertainty as we move into another referendum on the autonomy of Aboriginal voices
in the institutional system of governance that is not native to us, nor asked for on this land.

~ Written by our Social Media Manager, Danni.~

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