Pathfinders Senior Manager Aboriginal Culture and Connections Hilton Naden’s comment on Australia Day

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The 26th of January is nearly upon us and most people know this day as Australia Day, others see it as Invasion or Survival Day and to some “just another public holiday”. For me personally I consider 26th January as divisive., it divides a Nation Strong in Culture, Heritage and History, and we are a Multi-Cultural Nation whether we like it or not.

Australians of today are not directly responsible for what happened in the past. But it is part of our shared history as First Nations People and non-Indigenous Australians, together, we are responsible for what happens in the future.

There are many reasons why the 26th January and ‘Australia Day’ are controversial, painful and traumatic for my people. A lot of Australians have some idea about the violent and devastating history of colonisation in Australia since 1788. But far less understand that colonialism and the effects of colonisation still exist today. And, that the legacy of racism plays out in every aspect of Australian society.

Pathfinders has always had an unrelenting commitment to improve the lives of those affected by discrimination, inequity, neglect or distance.  Our vision is of thriving communities, in which all fully participate and develop through mutual trust and acceptance.  We work to empower people and communities to live with hope and equal opportunity to achieve their potential.

Pathfinders acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which our programs, services and activities are run. Pathfinders acknowledge parents, families and communities as the first educators of their children. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people have a long tradition of teaching and learning through sharing their connections with the land and sea, and through their stories and lived experiences that are passed from generation to generation.
Pathfinders recognise and value the learning that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people bring with them from their homes and communities into our organisation’s programs, services and activities, and we value the participation of our clients in decisions which affect them.

Let’s reflect on this day 26th January and acknowledge all sides of History in your own Cultural way and in Unity.

“Always Was, Always Will Be”

Mandaang Guwu (Thank you) – Wiradjuri My Country

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