On Australia Day we recognise the unique status of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The National Australia Day Council (NADC) is committed to playing a part in the journey of Reconciliation by helping all Australians to move forward with a better understanding of our shared past, and importantly how this affects the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today and how we might build a better future together.
The NADC’s approach to Reconciliation is one of leadership. We recognise that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and some non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderAustralians may have mixed feelings about celebrating this day. January 26 has multiple meanings: it is Australia Day and it is also, for some, Survival Day or Invasion Day. The NADC acknowledges that the date brings a mixture of celebration and mourning and we believe that the programs presented by the NADC should play a powerful and positive role in advancing Reconciliation.
The NADC believes that our national day should be authentic and mature where we can celebrate and mourn at the same time. We can honour all that is great about Australia and being Australian, remember the sufferings and our shortcomings and commit to build a more cohesive and inclusive nation. We do so with an underlying spirit of optimism.
We believe that the NADC’s programs play an important role in the symbolic aspects of Reconciliation. Acknowledging the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures to our past, present and future:
- offers an appropriate mark of respect on the national day;
- nurtures pride amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all Australians; and
- raises awareness of the issues that still challenge the nation, such as the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderAustralians and the wider community.
We encourage all Australians to work with us to ensure that our events and programs are inclusive.