Oxfam calls on Australians to mark January 26 with respect and reflection

Indigenous Affairs, Media Releases article written on the 26 Jan 2024

This January 26, Oxfam Australia has called on all Australians to mark this day not with celebration, but with respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reflection on the historic and ongoing injustices experienced by the First Peoples in Australia.

Oxfam’s acting Chief Executive Andrew Buchanan praised Australians and organisations who have united in solidarity with the world’s oldest living culture this Invasion Day, particularly in light of the disappointing Voice referendum outcome.

“With the failed Voice referendum still fresh in the minds of most Australians, it is more important than ever to mark January 26 with reflection rather than celebration,” said Mr Buchanan.

“As disappointing as the referendum was, it was heartening to see the groundswell of support for First Nations people in the continued fight for their rights.”

“We at Oxfam are committed to supporting First Peoples’ fight for self-determination, recognition of sovereignty, and a democracy that is founded on the principals of community equity,” he said.

Truth telling on the impact of colonisation is an essential process of healing the community and nation, as evidenced by the disproportionate number of First Nations people living in extreme poverty and experiencing unacceptable levels of inequitable outcomes in life expectancy, education, employment and incarceration.

“We continue on our journey as an ally, working towards reconciliation, and for an Australia where everyone is able to live in a democracy founded on truth, justice, and the principles of community equity,” he said.

Oxfam has worked in solidarity with the First Peoples of Australia for almost half a century. It has played a leading role in establishing leading campaigns to support Indigenous rights, including Close the Gap and Change the Record, and the Straight Talk program.

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099 / lucyb@oxfam.org.au