Australia news live: Invasion Day protests under way; pro-Russian tennis fans quizzed by police | Australia Day
This is the 85th anniversary of First Nations peoples and others gathering to mark the Day of Mourning which first took place in 1938.
Festivities in Sydney already began at dawn, with a projection on the Opera House by Kamilaroi woman and artist Rhonda Sampson acknowledging the role of women around the waters of Sydney Cove before Captain Arthur Phillip’s 1788 arrival.
The Andrews government in Victoria has cancelled the annual street parade through Melbourne, choosing to focus on local gatherings, AAP reports.
You can read more about the message of the Day of Mourning from Wesley Enoch:
Medical students call for systemic reform this Invasion Day
The Australian Medical Students Association (Amsa) is calling for an end to the celebration of January 26, saying it is “a day that memorialises the colonisation and dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land, peoples and communities”.
Amsa says increasing epidemiological literature provides evidence for racism as a significant determinant directly affecting both physical health and mental health outcomes, and so the continued celebration of Invasion Day only functions to further perpetuate the psychological distress experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Isobella Kruger, a Kombumerri and Ngugi woman and co-chair of Amsa Indigenous says:
Viewing colonisation as an isolated event of the past is simultaneously an oversimplification of our history and a means of avoiding responsibility and accountability by refusing to acknowledge the ongoing systemic racism and intergenerational harms perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Tish Sivagnanan, the president of AMSA, says:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to face significant disparities in health access and outcomes today. These outcomes, especially in the context of mental health and well-being, continue to be exacerbated by systemic, social and interpersonal racism and discrimination that permeates Australian society.
Amsa is calling on the federal government to:
publicly acknowledge the harms of celebrating Invasion Day and take action to change this public holiday.
actively seek and follow guidance from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities and organisations regarding all policy decisions affecting them.
switch the Closing the Gap initiative from a deficit-based outcome system to a strengths-based one to actively support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their autonomy and strengths.
Indigenous voice to parliament ‘historic opportunity’ to put Australian values to work, PM says
The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has shared a video message wishing “each and every one of you a very happy Australia Day”.
Albanese used the message to encourage Australians to embrace the Indigenous voice to parliament, saying it is an opportunity to put national values to work.
Today, at ceremonies around our nation, people young and old, born under every flag and drawn from every faith and tradition will pledge their loyalty to our nation, our people, and the democratic beliefs that we share in choosing Australia as their home.
These newest citizens are embracing the values and qualities we hold dear: our belief in opportunity for all the respect we have for hard work, the optimism that drives our aspiration and the Australian instinct for fairness, decency, care and respect for each other.
Australians across our great nation uphold these qualities every day, and later this year, every Australian will have the historic opportunity to put these values to work by answering the gracious, patient call of the Uluru statement from the heart and voting to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s birth certificate, the constitution, celebrating the unique privilege we have to share this island continent with the world’s oldest continuous culture, that should be a source of pride for us all.
Guide to Invasion Day rallies
Indigenous communities and allies will come together to mark Invasion Day, or Survival Day, with marches, smoking ceremonies and gatherings planned across the country on today.
Many Australians are already taking to social media this morning to express solidarity with First Nations people whose land was never ceded.
Human Rights Watch researcher Sophie McNeil encouraged Australians on social media to “Get up. Stand up. Show up” attending rallies.
My colleague Mostafa Rachwani has put together a list of events and gatherings in major cities around Australia:
Australian of the year says children’s body image is a ‘paediatric health emergency’
Morning! Natasha May on deck with you.
Taryn Brumfitt, body image activist and director, has been named Australian of the Year, at a ceremony in Canberra last night.
Brumfitt is the founder of the global Body Image Movement, which has brought together leaders, advocates and experts to spark conversation about body image.
She’s told ABC Radio this morning that the movement’s focus is currently “firmly” on kids.
I’m describing this as a paediatric health emergency for our kids.
In particular, we know that 77% of Australian young adults report body image distress. This has doubled since 2009.
We also know that adolescents who are experiencing body dissatisfaction that 24 times more likely to be depressed and experience anxiety.
So I’m just really grateful that we can take this conversation from hashtag loving body to this is actually really important to get right.
Anthony Albanese has told critics of the voice to parliament campaign that his “door is always open” as he attempts to build support for a referendum win by appealing to the national interest of opponents.
“The leaders of other major parties, and indeed minor parties, including the Greens political party – this is a moment for them as well. Will they seize the opportunity to unite the nation and to take us forward as one?”
Indigenous leaders have said his suggestion of a total alcohol ban for Alice Springs would not fix the town’s social problems and that more fundamental problems such as the legacy of colonisation needed to addressed.
Good morning and welcome to our rolling news coverage of what is expected to be a lively Australia Day public holiday marked with a series of Invasion Day protests. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll bring you the big overnight stories before my colleague Natasha May takes over.
Taryn Brumfitt, a body image activist from South Australia, who directed a documentary about women’s body loathing and her path to accepting her own skin, has been named the 2023 Australian of the Year. “It is not our life’s purpose to be at war with our body,” she told the awards ceremony in Canberra last night. The 2023 Senior Australian of the Year was named as the Kungarakan elder and human rights campaigner Prof Tom Calma. Calma, 69, is currently the co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and chancellor of the University of Canberra.
Invasion Day and Survival Day protests are already under way, with dawn ceremonies in many locations to mark the arrival of white settlers. There will be events all day, including the annual protest in Belmore Park in Sydney and Brisbane’s annual Invasion Day rally at Queens Gardens.
Several spectators at the Australian Open are being questioned by Victoria police after they unveiled flags in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and then threatened security guards following the quarter-final match between Andrey Rublev of Russia and Novak Djokovic. The nine-times champion won his game easily to progress to the semi-finals, but during the game a spectator revealed a T-shirt with a large Z on the front – the symbol of the Russian military. Afterwards, some fans unfurled Russian flags and images of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.