• Yarra City councillors voted unanimously to no longer refer to January 26 as Australia Day earlier this year. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
A second Melbourne council risks being stripped of its powers to host citizenship ceremonies after councillors voted to stop holding such events on January 26.
By
NITV Staff Writer

22 Aug 2017 - 10:27 AM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2017 - 2:02 PM

Canberra's message to local government not to mess with Australia Day has fallen on deaf ears at a second Melbourne council.

City of Darebin councillors overnight voted in favour of moving January 26 events to an "agreed date" more inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

"We formally recognised that January 26 is not an inclusive date for our national celebration," Mayor Kim Le Cerf said after Monday night's majority result.

"January 26 is indelibly tied to the dispossession and subsequent oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and our council cannot ignore the exclusion this entails and the impact it has on the health and wellbeing of our indigenous community."

The motion includes an end to citizenship ceremonies on January 26, instead offering new Australians the opportunity "in a positive and timely way throughout the year".

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The changes come just a week after the federal government stripped Melbourne's City of Yarra of its powers to host citizenship ceremonies after it voted to change the way it marks January 26.

Darebin mayor Kim Le Cerf said she believed if her council was also stripped of its powers to hold citizenship ceremonies, other politicians would step in to help out.

"We have already had senators from Victoria who have offered their support and to preside over ceremonies here in Darebin," she told the Seven Network on Tuesday.

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Ms Le Cert said the council was giving a voice to wider community support for finding another date to mark Australia Day.

She also stood by comments that if Australians were better educated they would feel ashamed about celebrating their national day on January 26.

"I can't say that I celebrate Australia Day. For me, I reflect and have a heavy heart," she said.

Darebin plans to replace Australia Day events on January 26 with other community celebrations to be held on another day.

It will include awards recognising community service and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

With AAP