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January 26, 2024

Since 1994, 26 January has been marked as a national public holiday. Going by a variety of names over the course of history, the date evokes different meanings for different people. For some, the day is associated with a gathering of family or celebrating a personal connection to Australia. For others, it may be a distressing reminder of a traumatic history or something that is divergent from personal values.   

In recognition of this, as in previous years, Youth Focus staff have the option to work on this date, taking time in lieu for another day that is more appropriate. 

Our Albany, Geraldton and Midland headspace locations will be open on 26 January to support their communities. 

Irrespective of what 26 January looks like for you, it is important to remember that every year the discourse around this date fuels hurt, confrontation and racism and can detrimentally impact the wellbeing of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people.  

One way we can show up during this time and work towards an inclusive society is through educating ourselves and encouraging those around us to do the same.  There are many ways we can do this:

  • ANTAR has a succinct History of the Date, along with many other resources and discussion pieces.
  • Attend an event or two, like the Birak Concert at Supreme Court Gardens, Western Australia’s premier celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture; or the Three Journeys exhibition at WA Museum Boola Bardip.
  • Engage in a Yarning Circle Webinar ‘How to be an Ally on “Australia Day”’ with Aunty Munya Andrews, Carla Rogers & Kate Kelleher on 25 January 2024 from 10.00am to 11.00am.