What you should NOT do on Australia day 1

What you should NOT do on Australia day

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Social media influencers are using their platforms to share tips on how young people can support First Nations people on Australia Day – and the activities revellers should avoid. 

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In the lead up to January 26, a slew of TikTok stars have flocked online to explain  why they do not celebrate Australia Day.

January 26 – which marks the raising of the British flag on Australian soil in 1788 after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour – is regarded as ‘invasion day’ by many First Nations people. 

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In viral videos, popular creators have made ‘tutorials’ offering advice to their thousands of followers on how to approach the day with cultural sensitivity.

Their suggestions include declining Australia Day party invitations and donating their wages to charity if you have to work on the day.

Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal user Meissa Mason (pictured) has suggested people working on 'Invasion Day', who wish to support Indigenous people, donate their bonus public holiday rates

Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal user Meissa Mason (pictured) has suggested people working on ‘Invasion Day’, who wish to support Indigenous people, donate their bonus public holiday rates 

Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal user Meissa Mason, who boasts more than 110,000 followers, encouraged those who work on Australia Day to give their additional earnings to charity. 

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‘I’ve had a couple of people DM me and say that they don’t celebrate Invasion Day and they’d rather work, but they also feel uncomfortable profiting off Invasion Day by getting time-and-a-half or double rates,’ she said. 

‘Something you can do is working out your pay slips to see what you got on your regular rates, and then taking that percentage that you got for double pay or pay-and-a-half and donating it to an Indigenous organisation, movement or group.

‘That way you are not profiting off of Invasion Day and you are directly supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.’

Barkindji, Wakawaka and Birrigubba Tiktok influencer Emily Johnson shared a ‘tutorial’ titled ‘no pride in genocide’, showing her 78,000 followers how to decline invitations to events held on the public holiday. 

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‘For me personally it’s ok if you want to enjoy the public holiday, but titling your event “Invasion Day” is just yuck,’ she wrote in a caption. 

Non-Indigenous activist Ella Jae offered her 60,200 followers a ‘reminder’ we should not ‘celebrate genocide’, calling for the date to be changed from January 26 to May 8. 

Barkindji, Wakawaka and Birrigubba Tiktok influencer Emily Johnson (pictured) shared a tutorial on how to turn down Australia Day party invitations

She said: 'For me personally it’s ok if you want to enjoy the public holiday, but titling your event "Invasion Day" is just yuck'

Barkindji, Wakawaka and Birrigubba Tiktok influencer Emily Johnson (pictured) shared a tutorial on how to turn down Australia Day party invitations

‘If we want to celebrate Australia it should be on a day that’s inclusive for everyone so that everyone can have fun,’ she said in the video which has been seen more than 100,000 times. 

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She compared having a party on Australia Day to skipping a loved one’s funeral and going straight to ‘kick ons’ and refuted common argument atrocities against Indigenous people ‘happened so long ago’.

‘Trauma tracks down through generations, that pain is still felt by First Nation people’s children, grandchildren, great grandchildren,’ she said.

‘And second, you do not get to decide what is offensive or hurtful to a community that you are not a part of.

‘If you choose to be ignorant and not get educated, you are part of the problem.’ 

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Change-the-date advocate Jaz Karati, described how she and her Maori family used to celebrate the public holiday until they learned of its cultural significance. 

‘When we first moved here 10 years ago, we were ignorant to the history of that date, so we were celebrating with a lot of our Australian friends,’ she said.

Ella Jae (pictured) explained trauma can be handed down for generations - and celebrating on January 26 is not ethical

Ella Jae (pictured) explained trauma can be handed down for generations – and celebrating on January 26 is not ethical 

Jaz Karati, a self-described Aboriginal ally,  admitted she used to celebrate Australia Day until she realised the historical and cultural significance of the date

Jaz Karati, a self-described Aboriginal ally,  admitted she used to celebrate Australia Day until she realised the historical and cultural significance of the date 

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‘As soon as we learnt the real history and the reason why that date is significant for Aboriginal people, it became a no-brainer for us to stop celebrating.’

Ms Karati said white Australian friends have justified celebrating the holiday, because they were ‘not racist’ as they do not ‘hate Aboriginal people’.

‘I said “you’re wrong. You think racism is rooted in hate, but it isn’t. It is rooted in ignorance – wilful ignorance – because you know the history and you continue to celebrate”.

‘If you care about Aboriginal people, you would not be celebrating invasion, genocide, rape, murder, and colonisation.

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Comedian Tilly Langford, a Gumbaynggir woman, frequently shares content with her more than 38,600 TikTok followers, advocating a number of social justice causes, including class inequality, sexism and racial injustice. 

The political commentator said the national holiday, for her, represents ongoing disparities between Indigenous Australians and other members of the community.

‘Invasion Day, to me, symbolises a lot of my personal conflictions with “Australia”,’ she told News.com.au. 

‘I want to love this Country. I want to care for it and cherish it just as my ancestors did. But I can’t, because of the way it is now, the blood, and the carnage, and the pure indifference.’ 

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Comedian and Gumbaynggir woman Tilly Langford (pictured) says she 'cannot love Australia' because of ongoing racial injustice and the brutal history of colonisation

Comedian and Gumbaynggir woman Tilly Langford (pictured) says she ‘cannot love Australia’ because of ongoing racial injustice and the brutal history of colonisation 

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, she sent strength to fellow Indigenous Australians

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, she sent strength to fellow Indigenous Australians 

Australia Day, held on the date British Royal Navy vessels raised a Union Jack at Sydney Cove, called Warrane by the Aboriginal people who fished and lived there, remains divisive among young and older generations.  

In recent years the day has been marked by widespread protests in cities across the country as thousands of Indigenous supporter mourn the culture’s painful history and call for the holiday’s date to be changed. 

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A recent survey by Core Data found ‘a generational and gender divide among Australians over the significance of the day and its position in the calendar’.

The research consultancy asked whether people planned to celebrate, whether they supported moving the holiday to another date and how their opinions had changed in recent years.

Overall, 54 per cent of respondents said they planned to mark the occasion, with 30 per cent saying they would be celebrating the history and achievements of Australia and 15 per cent ‘just because it was a public holiday’.

More than two-thirds of respondents aged 26 and under say they won’t be celebrating on January 26, with just over 30 per cent saying they will.

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But more than 80 per cent of them support moving the date for the sake of improving relations with the Indigenous population, as do more than 70 per cent of those aged 27 to 41.

Support for change dropped among older respondents, with just over 30 per cent of those 56 to 75 and 25 per cent of those older supporting a change in date.

People carry placards as thousands of people attend an Australia Day protest in Melbourne in January 26, 2021

People carry placards as thousands of people attend an Australia Day protest in Melbourne in January 26, 2021

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