26 January 2017 – Special Edition Top 10!

26 January 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
Welcome to our Special Edition Top 10 for Survival Day 2017 as we feature important issues relating to the colonisation of Australia and share some great stories that celebrate the First Nations people of Australia.


1. The push to change the date of Australia Day is growing. SBS has a great overview of the many different facets of Australia Day. Amnesty International talks with 9 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians about why the date should change. And The Guardian reports on a new poll that asked people how they felt about Australia Day. Unfortunately only 15% of non-Indigenous Australians thought the date should change, compared to 54% of Indigenous Australians. Respondents were also asked what three words they most associated with Australia Day. Non-Indigenous Australians chose “barbecue, celebration and holiday” and Indigenous Australians chose “invasion, survival and murder”. It seems we have some way to go.


2. SBS has produced the ’10 things you should know about January 26’ that I am confident many of those who do not think we should change the date do not know!!


3. There are some wonderful commentaries raising important issues about the inappropriateness of celebrating the nation on the day that marks the beginning of a long history of colonisation and genocide. Here’s our two favs:
– Chelsea Bond, Univ of Qld, has written a beautiful piece about ‘the day I don’t feel Australian


4.There are some great videos to watch on Australia Day that showcase some of the important issues today. I love this video from Carla McGrath, the Deputy Chair of the GetUp Board. And for a bit of lightness, have a look at Junkee’s suggestion that May 8 (maaaatte!!) becomes the new Australia Day.


5. Amnesty International has a great list of ’10 ways to stand with Indigenous people this survival day’.


6. Time for some great music and inspirational young people. Here is the latest offering from Desert Pea Media – Wetland Warriors – a collaboration with the students of Warren High School in Western NSW. “The song is a celebration of survival, resilience, culture and pride, and dedicated to the people of the Beemunnel Aboriginal Reserve.”


7. And while we’re at it, anyone remember No Fixed Address? They were pretty much the first – as they put it – “there were no blackfella bands. We were the first.” They started playing together in 1979 and they’re playing again today!


8. In support of the important contribution of Indigenous people to dealing with the complex issues now facing society, David Suzuki was interviewed by IndigiLAB and NITV News where he shared the 7 things Australians should learn from Indigenous people.


9. In September last year The Guardian ran a special series on Indigenous Australians – Our country, our voices. There are many valuable stories here about the importance of retaining Indigenous languages in Australia including photo essays and videos. The photo essay by Martine Perret includes amazing images and recordings from Western Australia; there is an audio recording from 1899 of Pakuna woman Fanny Cochrane speaking her Indigenous language; and a discussion of Noongarpedia – Australia’s first Indigenous Wikipedia – and many more important stories.


10. And finally, apologies in advance for repeating this post again this year. It has been a constant feature of our post-Invasion day Top 10. Some things seem to need repeating. When the sentiment in this powerful poem, ‘Hate He Said’ by Steven Oliver, no longer applies, we will stop posting it!


And don’t forget to check out WITADA’s 26 January 2017 post.