We were so excited to once again be a part of Yabun Festival in Victoria Park on January 26.
Over the course of the day we asked visitors to our stall to contribute a line of poetry to answer the question 'What does January 26 mean to you?' The results were an emotional and inspiring poem created by our community and live-tweeted to our Twitter account.
Scroll down to read the poem in full, and a massive thanks you to everybody who contributed.
What does January 26 mean to you?
Through peaceful dialogue we are still 'DIVISIVE'
Yorta Yorta UNCEDED sovereignty PEACE and GOODWILL
Celebrating the land I was born on and the beautiful people
Going to have a swim and play in the park
The smoking ceremony brings us all together
A privilege to share the day with Indigenous Aussies and their talents and strengths
Together we will reach a community of compassion
Today we are all Australians
Today we respect and reflect on all Aboriginal people
My way of protesting the removal of children by DOCS
Acknowledging strength and survival!
Celebrating our unity and diversity and understanding our broad heritage
Time for the sovereignty of First Nations to be the foundation of this island continent
The foundation of this island continent
Acknowledging our First Nations and their survival over the hundreds of years
Walking together, breathing the same air (with respect to Uncle Max)
Understanding each other's cultures without preconceptions
Being One Together
To continue to learn and grow - looking to the past, moving to the future
Spending time with all Australians, old and new, of different cultures and days and lives, coming together as one
January 26 invasion and destruction of Aboriginal culture
Looking forward to a day when we can celebrate Australia together, inclusively.
A day that makes me feel strange - how to move forward?
Acknowledge pain and celebrate joy
A day to recognise + celebrate the Indigenous culture + history in our country we live in
A love of the country, a sadness for Indigenous culture
A contradictory celebration of community
A day of thanksgiving, and remembrance
Family is everything - community is all families together
Getting in touch with my history at Yabun
Time for a change.
Reflection on what was and what can become on the future
Harmony and integrity bind all people
I wish that dinosaurs could come back because we would be able to tame them
Loving and sharing a wonderful culture
Celebrating the survival of my culture and how far we have come
Being with family
Stayin Strong Always.
Change. Recognition. Love.
Reconciliation and joy
Invasion Day, but also the recognition and survival of Aboriginal culture
An opportunity for us to truly make a change and acknowledge the truth of our past
Australia Day means to me sorry day
Australia Day is a day to be as one
To be united
Spending time with Family
Australia means coming together
Recognising the true owners of the land
Celebration, community, coming together
Recognition, Pride, Respect
THE END AND A BEGINNING
Celebrating family and Community
Think about always was, always will be Aboriginal Land
Coming together to embrace and connect
Community, culture and love
A family is only as happy as its unhappiest member
A day of grief and mourning that cannot, should not be celebrated!
We embrace our story; it’s a history. What’s mother going to do when she comes for you
The Aboriginal story is our story
It comes from the arrival of the first fleet. I think it’s quite offensive that we celebrate it
To share one another’s culture. To create a healthy community and Australia
Family, friends and coming together as Koori people
Celebrating and mourning the culture of history – made by black and white fella
It means hurt and pain and suffering
Celebrating and mourning together
An opportunity to truly unite as one
I feel ashamed that our government insists on celebrating the birth of white Australia
My great grandad came here in greed. I’m here today to contemplate this and heal with some love
A chance to listen and learn about my country
Keep the fire burning. Always was - Always will be
Celebrating 230 years of INDIGENOUS STRENGTH!
At Yabun rejoicing in the happiness of community filling the park
What does January 26th mean to me? January 26th is a way for Indigenous people to say and show that this is their land. It is a recognition for them. It doesn’t necessarily mean that only Indigenous people can celebrate it, or participate, it is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate too and be recognised.
We are all Australians
A time to once again reflect the massive injustice First Nations met. The reason for annual discussion and debate no-one wants to see more fighting and hate.
The opportunity to wrong a right. The opportunity to embrace the light. The chance to love and embrace the most beautiful race
I feel sad that January 26th is looked upon a celebration. It’s a day I want celebrate but AUSTRALIA DAY should be on the 1st of January
We need to change the date. Then we can all hang out with our mates on this date. I’m non-Aboriginal and I don’t even participate, because I would like us all to feel great.
Everyone who has come before, is here now and will be in the future
Time to stop and reflect
Find my family Chapman. Find old family Yuboo Gungarda. Make new family, stay strong
Connecting and celebrating indigenous culture and growing towards a better future
Getting together. Living together. Holding each other.
Courage to see we are all of us alive. Welcome to the new, recognise the old
A day to remind us to look down at our feet and know what land we stand on.