Today marks the 235-year anniversary of the proclamation of British sovereignty over the Eastern seaboard of what came to be known as Australia, marked variously as Australia Day, Survival Day or Invasion Day.
It is a particularly painful reminder of the colonisation practices, leading to immeasurable trauma which continues across the nation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
City West Housing management has given all staff the option to work, rather than take the Australia Day public holiday today and request an alternative day off – which many have opted to do.
City West Housing CEO Leonie King said: “We do this in the spirit of reconciliation. We believe the achievements made by Australia as a nation should be celebrated, however today’s date is not an appropriate time to rejoice without being inclusive of the experiences of the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.”
Pam Jackson, Chair of the CWH Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, said “It’s a positive, fabulous step towards reconciliation. There are many different ways we can contribute, a great way is to have conversations on reconciliation with family and friends.”
Other organisations, including the University of Wollongong, Telstra, Network Ten, and Woodside Energy are taking similar action today.
We acknowledge the Gadigal people who are the custodians of the land in which City West Housing is based and one of the first Aboriginal Nations to experience British colonisation, as well as all First Nations across the unceded land of Australia.