19 January, 2021
Zali Steggall OAM MP has called for councils across Australia and in Warringah to include a one minute’s silence during their official Australia Day celebrations in recognition of the Indigenous Australians’ lives that have been lost since that day.
“There should be a formal recognition of the loss, hurt and sorrow felt by our Indigenous Community on January 26,” Ms Steggall said.
Ms Steggall has written to the Australian Local Government Association and the three Mayors of North Sydney, Mosman and Northern Beaches Councils asking them to consider including the one minute’s silence as part of their Acknowledgement of Country at the ceremony.
“Councils provide an important leadership role in commemorating this day by hosting numerous formal and informal ceremonies and activities for their communities,” she said.
“However, January 26 provokes a range of emotions for many within our community. While it marks the commencement of European colonisation of this land, it also represents the commencement of violence, disempowerment and displacement of our Indigenous communities that has created sorrow, discrimination and hardship that has lasted for generations.
“It is only right that we acknowledge all that this day represents and build remembrance into our ceremonies to recognise the price that has been paid by First Australians.
“A ceremonial minute’s silence could be a powerful step in the healing journey.”
Ms Steggall will attend the Mosman Council ceremony on January 26 where she will welcome new citizens to Warringah.