Speakers at an 'invasion day' rally in Melbourne say January 26 is a day of hurt, not celebration, for Aboriginal people.
Melbourne's CBD was brought to a standstill as tens of thousands of invasion day protesters marched against the celebration of Australia Day.
January 26 is a day of hurt, not celebration, for Aboriginal people because of the lasting and devastating impacts of colonisation, speakers told the crowd.
The rally started with a minute's silence and speeches railing against Aboriginal deaths in custody, a spate of Aboriginal child suicides, calls for the abolition of public drunkenness laws and ending children being taken from family care.
"We lost five young ones in the last couple of weeks to suicide and the world has been silent," Wurundjeri elder Di Kerr told the rally in front of parliament house.
"People out there from the stolen generations are dying and they're not being heard."
In what was a mostly peaceful protest, the crowd did have to start their march at the top of Bourke Street by pushing through a police line.
As the group started marching, uniformed officers linked arms and formed a line, a rally organiser on a vehicle-mounted speaker saying it was because of the van.
"Let us through, let us through," the crowd shouted, the officers shortly making way for the march.
The crowd began to swell as it marched down Bourke Street and along Swanston Street, following on from the official Australia Day parade, and stopped for a sit-in outside Flinders Street station.
Far-right nationalists had attempted to hold a counter rally at Federation Square, but mustered only a handful of people draped in Australian flags.
Two men stood on the steps of Flinders Street Station holding a giant Australian flag and briefly clashed with invasion day protesters.
One of the flagged men was dragged to the ground before being frog-marched off by police, with another couple also moved on by police shortly after.
The rally followed a dawn service at Kings Domain - where the bodies of 38 Victorian first nations people are buried - on Saturday morning, attended by about 600 people.
"It was quite an emotional ceremony and there were people from all parts of our society, all nationalities and people were heartfelt in terms of sharing what we call this day and that is a day of mourning," Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman and former Northcote MP Lidia Thorpe told AAP.