Commemorating January 26, 2022

25 January, 2022

25 January 2022

Commemorating January 26, 2022

January 26 is our Day of Mourning, Invasion Day. The day we reaffirm our survival.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) calls on governments to abolish the date. For too long, we have had to endure a day that symbolises pain and suffering for our people. A day which seeks to exclude our stories from that of our country.

Abolishing this date and moving to a new one, will send a clear message, black history is Australia’s history. It will give Australians a sense of pride about our national identity in a respectful and inclusive environment.

The Aboriginal Land Rights struggle began in 1770 with the British flag being raised, based on misinformation that this country was Terra Nullius. Our Sovereignty was never ceded.

Changing the date to celebrate our collective national identity is another step to righting those wrongs. It tells our people we too, are part of this great country, Australia.

Until we see the change that our communities have been fighting for, we will continue to use this day to commemorate the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples following invasion.

NSWALC recognises the difficulty some people face in observing a Public Holiday on 26 January and has given staff the option to continue to work and take a day off at a time that is more suitable to them.

This year, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council would like to acknowledge the founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which marks its 50th anniversary.

The Tent Embassy began its public life on January 26 1972 when Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey left Redfern and drove to Ngunnawal Country where they planted a beach umbrella opposite Parliament House.

The men erected a sign that said “Aboriginal Embassy” to protest the McMahon government’s approach to Aboriginal Land Rights, and to draw attention to the fact Aboriginal peoples had never ceded sovereignty nor engaged in any treaty process with the Crown.

On February 6 1972, the Tent Embassy founders issued a list of demands to the government including rights to homelands, compensation for lands not returned, and protection of sacred sites.

Other Aboriginal activists joined the embassy, including Isabel Coe, Gary Foley, John Newfong, Chicka Dixon and Gordon Briscoe and in the decades since, the Embassy occupied several other sites around Canberra before returning to its original site in 1992.

Today, the Tent Embassy remains a continuing protest site in the ongoing fight for justice and reclamation of our lands.

NSWALC wishes the Tent Embassy a safe and strong 50th anniversary.

Many communities are marking our continual Survival, see the following list on some events.

If you are planning on attending events on Survival Day, please be mindful of the current COVID-19 rules and the safety of you, your family and community.

Details are at the following link: NSW COVID-19 Restrictions and COVID-19 Restrictions in the ACT.


January 25 – 27, Canberra

50 years of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy Conference – For registered delegates.

More information here:

January 26, Canberra

  • 9:00am-5:00pm

50 years of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy – Aboriginal Tent Embassy, The Lawns at Old Parliament House, King George Terrace, Canberra.

More information here: Facebook:

Event RSVP:

January 27


“Where To From Here?”Decolonisation and Sovereign Right to Self-determination.

Conference hosted by Ghillar Anderson, last surviving member of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy founding four.

Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla, ACT 2601

Bookings, information and program here:

Ticket numbers are limited due to COVID-19 Safe Plan.

9:00am-4:00pm – First Day of Resistance.

Hosted by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Old Parliament House lawns, King George Terrace, Canberra.

More information and program here:


New South Wales and Virtual Events

January 26, New South Wales and Virtual Events

  • 5:30am-6:00am

Dawn Reflection – Bennelong Point, Sydney.

The dawn projection will feature the artwork of Central Desert artist, senior Pitjantjatjara man David Miller, on the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Mr Miller has painted the Goanna Songline (Ngintaka Inma) that will feature in Solid Rock, Sacred Ground, the opening segment of Australia Day Live at dusk.

The projection will coincide with both the Australian National Flag and the Aboriginal Flag being raised on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

More information here:


Invasion Day Dawn Service – VIRTUAL event from Victoria.

Hosted by Victorian NAIDOC.

More information here:

  • From 6:45am

Ride with Aboriginal Peoples – From Manly Ferry Wharf to Church Point Wharf, Sydney.

Attend a 6:45am Welcome to Country and pushbike ride from Manly to Church Point.

This ride is a gesture to acknowledge that not all Australians see Australia Day in the same way.

Or join for a Welcome to Country at 10am on Garigal Country at Church Point Wharf.

  • 7:30-8:30am

WugulOra Morning Ceremony  – Walumil Lawns Barangaroo Reserve and live broadcast.

Co-curated by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, the WugulOra Morning Ceremony celebrates the world’s oldest living culture through dance, music and language.

The event will also be broadcast live on ABC TV and on ABC iView from 7:30am to 8:30am.

More information here:

  • 9:00am-11:00am

Bush Care – Gilmore Park, West Wollongong

Marking the day with a couple of hours of caring for Country together.

All are welcome, please be COVID-safe and stay home if you’re feeling unwell.

More information here:

  • 10:00am

Day Of Mourning March – Town Hall Sydney.

Hosted by the Indigenous Social Justice Association.

The march retraces the steps of the 1938 Day of Mourning in a silent march from Town Hall to Australia Hall on Elizabeth St, before proceeding to Yabun in Victoria Park.

All rally attendees are asked to wear a mask and spread out at the rally. Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell or have any flu like symptoms.

More information here:

  • 10:00am-5:00pm

Day Of Mourning – Newcastle Foreshore Park, Customs House Hotel Fountain 

Hosted by The Justice Aunties.

With a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country whilst we mourn the past, then a short march from Customs House Hotel fountain to Nobby’s Beach for a free BBQ, market stalls and beach footy.

More information here:

  • 10:30am

Northern Rivers Survival Day March – from Brunswick Beach to Apex Park at Byron Beach.

Please meet everyone at Brunswick Beach before 10:30am.

  • 11:00am-5:00pm

Survival Day Event In Griffith To Acknowledge Wiradjuri People – Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre.

Hosted by the Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council and Griffith City Council.

Numerous cultural activities including Didgeridoo playing, Indigenous dancers, a smoking ceremony and art for Elders with Kerri Weymouth. Anyone can participate in the Survival Day crafts available. A free BBQ lunch will be available along with a DJ and photo booth,

Free buses for pickup and drop-offs, on the hour.

More information here:


Yabun Festival (Also Live streamed) – Victoria Park, Broadway and online.

Yabun celebrates its 20th anniversary by celebrating the survival of Aboriginal cultures and identity. NSWALC will be having a stall at Yabun Festival.

A live stream will be available at or you can listen on Koori Radio 93.7FM.

More information here:

3:00pm-4:30pm NSW TIME ONLINE

Yarning About Racism – VIRTUAL event.

Hosted by Reconciliation Queensland.

What racism feels like and what you can do to change it.

Led by Mamu Kuku Yalanji woman Rona Scherer and early childhood researcher Dr Melinda Miller in a virtual yarning circle.

More information here: Zoom Event, RSVP at this link: Information on Facebook:


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.