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Australian Day: what’s the meaning behind it?


By Juliano Oliveira

Australia Day is titled as the official national day of Australia. It illustrates the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First British Fleet at Port Jackson in New South Wales.

This date is wrapped in significant historical terms, symbolisms and controversy since for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples it is a day of mourning.

Blue Knot Foundation, Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, defends that January 26 is a day to acknowledge intergenerational trauma for First Nations people.

“January 26 represents a day on which colonisation began and the darkest times of Australia’s history ensued. The trauma of displacement, massacres, forced removal, marginalisation and disruption of culture, connection to place, land and kin has continued through and within subsequent generations,” says Dr Kezelman AM, president of Blue Knot Foundation.

“Ongoing historical inequities and injustices abound. The trauma experienced by our First Nations people is multilayered and cumulative.

“Unresolved trauma has been passed down from generation to generation often with a loss of identity, meaning and connection critical for all human beings.”

Dr Kezelman advocates for an embedded right that everyone deserves and need to heal from trauma, to overcome the sense of hopelessness and helplessness which intergenerational trauma brings.

“So how do we as a nation reset? How do we really listen to our First Nations brothers and sisters, to what they need and want and walk alongside them on a path to national and individual healing?”

“At a time when racism and discrimination abounds globally, Blue Knot calls for genuine understanding, tolerance and meaningful reconciliation within Australia. As Australians, we all need to work together and especially with First Nations people for true reconciliation,” she completes.

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