A reflection on January 26

Last week, many of you will have enjoyed spending Australia Day with family and friends as organisations across Australia observe the public holiday. But for many Australians, including Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, January 26 is a day of great suffering and pain, marking the beginning of massacres, oppression, dispossession, and the systematic removal of children from their homes.

Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker and Case Manager Georgia Gill sat down to discuss the complexities of Australia Day and how people can be strong allies of our First Nations People.

“We recognise that this is not a celebration for everyone in our community. That being said, we are all able to contribute to a brighter, reconciled future by accepting the truth of what occurred on this Australia Day, many years ago,” said Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker.

Case Manager Georgia Gill sparked the reflection via email, where she urged her colleagues to learn and reflect on what Australia Day means for our Indigenous counterparts.

“It’s not about a lack of celebration for our country; it’s about being respectful of the origins of it, and that it isn’t a positive day for everybody. It’s about being mindful that it’s a day that commemorates a lot of loss and grief and trauma for people,” said Georgia.

Heidi and Georgia are both members of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) committee, who have been busy working on our own Reconciliation Action Plan for the organisation.

“We’re really proud of the work we’ve done so far and look forward to launching our REFLECT status over the coming months,” said Heidi.

“I’m really grateful to be part of the Reconciliation Action Plan committee and work with Anchor to do some of that reconciliation work,” said Georgia.

To learn more about reconciliation in Australia, head to the Reconciliation Australia website at www.reconciliation.org.au.