NSWALC welcomes businesses giving workers a choice on January 26 public holiday

26 January, 2023

26 January 2023

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) welcomes and supports a growing number of employers giving their employees the choice of working on the gazetted January 26 public holiday.

Before Christmas, NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen wrote to major ASX companies asking them to consider giving their employees the choice of working on the January 26 public holiday, and instead taking the time off later at a mutually agreeable time.

“At NSWALC, we have given our staff the option of working on January 26. We’re calling on the business community to do the same,’’ NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen said.

“This approach allows flexibility for your employees, and also reflects the groundswell of public opinion. It allows business to act in a way that reflects their principles while also sending a statement to all levels of Government,’’ Mr Deen said.

“Instead of fuelling hatred and division, let’s celebrate the world’s oldest living culture.’’

This year we mark the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in NSW, widely regarded as the best Land Rights system in Australia. NSWALC believes the business community can show similar leadership and courage by taking a stand on this important issue.

“Every year we are sick of the divisive debate around celebrating Australia Day on January 26 – the day that represents the invasion and dispossession of Aboriginal lands, and the beginning of colonisation,’’ NSWALC Chair Danny Chapman said.

“We know a growing number of Australians are also uncomfortable with celebrating Australia Day on January 26 and want a different day celebrated to reflect our inclusive society,’’ Councillor Chapman said.

NSWALC strongly believes that momentum will continue to build to change the date of Australia Day, and we will continue to advocate for Australia Day to be held on a different date than January 26.

Media contact: media@alc.org.au


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.