'Survival Day' marked across Australia

Many Australians commemorated Survival Day today, more than two centuries after European ships landed in Sydney, when the destruction of many lives and cultures began.

Not everybody celebrated Australia Day today, as many remembered the day the invasion of Aboriginal nations began.

Many Australians remember January 26 as Survival Day, when 11 ships arrived in Sydney in 1788. Others call today Invasion Day, while the nation officially celebrates Australia Day.

Survival Day marches took place in most capital cities.

In Sydney, hundreds of people from many different backgrounds, including people from overseas, marched from Redfern to the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park.

Indigenous actor Jack Charles was in Sydney for his first Survival Day march, which he said was important.

“Reminding everybody that we’re still here,” Mr Charles said.

“We still claim that we're a bonded group of all tribes, all different nations, coming together to commiserate and celebrate the fact that this is the white man’s day of celebration.

“We celebrate our survival.”

It was a soggy Survival Day in Sydney but thousands still gathered for the annual Yabun Festival.

Yabun is a Gadigal word meaning "to make music with a beat".

Yabun host Mayrah Sonter said the day is more than a celebration.

"It's a tricky day. We don't celebrate 'Australia Day' today. We celebrate the survival of our people,” Ms Sonter said

“It was the beginning of the end of a lot of Aboriginal culture and people.

“There were lives lost. Our culture has not been able to fully recover from the things that have happened."


2 min read
Published 26 January 2015 at 5:22pm
By Jason Thomas
Source: SBS