JAnuary 26

JAM! believes the holding of Australia Day and Citizenship Ceremonies on January 26 is disrespectful to many First Nations peoples. 

JAM! had been lobbying Maribyrnong City Council (MCC) to change its approach to January 26, including through an online petition and public questions at Council meetings. Whilst MCC had recognised January 26 as a Day of Mourning, conducts a flag lowering ceremony and includes a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony as part of the Citizenship Ceremony, we asked Council to go further and to not conduct Citizenship Ceremonies on that day. On 12 September 2023, MCC unanimously supported the discontinuation of Citizenship Ceremonies on January 26. You can read more details in the Council Agenda, the Council media and JAM!’s response in the Star Weekly.

MCC now joins over 80 Councils around Australia which have already or are planning to move citizenship ceremonies away from January 26. In Victoria, 22 out of the 79 Councils have moved the ceremonies to another date between 23 and 29 January. At a local level, Councils are to be congratulated for these respectful changes and others encouraged to follow suit. See below for information about other Council responses to January 26 along with sites about Invasion Day / Day of Mourning / Survival Day and Change the Date campaigns.

JAM! continues to lobby the Federal government to change the date of Australia Day. You can lend your support by sending an email letter requesting the government to Change the Date here …


Act 1 – Attend the Victorian NAIDOC Invasion Day Dawn Service – 5 to 7am, Kings Domain

Act 2 – Attend the Maribyrnong City Council Flag Lowering Ceremony – 8:30am, Braybrook Community Hub

Act 3 – Join First Nations and allies at the Naarm (Melbourne) Invasion Day Rally – 10am, Parliament House

Act 4 – Support First Nations musicians at ‘Share the Spirit’, Sidney Myer Music Bowl – 11am to 9pm or Our Survival Day, The Briars 11am to 5pm

Act 5 – Join First Nations and allies at other Survival Day Events

Act 6 – Send an email letter to politicians asking to make Australia Day more inclusive and Change the Date.

Act 7 – Donate to First Nations organisations.

Act 8 – Take the Pledge to not celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

Act 9 – Print a JAM! Poster and post it up in your local community or post the image to your social media feed.


ANTaR: Rethinking our National Holiday.

Australia Talks survey re: “Australia Day”: June 2021 ABC News article about the survey results.

Australians Together: What’s Australia Day? Why do we celebrate it? How can we approach January 26 respectfully?

Australian Local Government Association: Australia’s councils got an early Christmas present [2022] from the federal government with the announcement that citizenship ceremonies no longer have to be held on Australia Day.

Change it Ourselves: A site promoting discussion and action around changing the date.

Change the Date: Articles and posts about changing the date of Australia Day.

City of Sydney: The City of Sydney has moved its annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony to January 27, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore telling those due to attend the date of a national celebration should not be on “Invasion Day”.

Councils who have moved Australia Day: In 2020, SBS – The Feed compiled this running list of councils that have moved Australia Day.

Creative Spirits / Common Ground: Two sites explaining Invasion Day.

Darebin Council – 26 January: Council explains its decision to not celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

Fremantle Council: Council moves Australia Day to One Day in Fremantle, January 28.

Hobart City Council: Council moves Citizenship Ceremony to January 27.

Saturday Paper Campaign: This is a call to work. As long as politicians ignore the need to move Australia Day, you should ignore it. Don’t celebrate a day that continues the hurt of Australia’s First Peoples. Sign up to support the Change the Date campaign.

Surfcoast Shire: Statement about Council resolution to not celebrate ‘Australia Day’ on January 26.

Sydney City Council: Council moves Citizenship Ceremony to January 27.

Merri-bek (Moreland) Council: Statements from Council about January 26 Citizenship Ceremonies and Day of mourning.

Yarra City Council: January 26 not celebrating ‘Australia Day’ in Yarra.

Jane Crawley, Director of Arts Investment at Creative Victoria, Board member at Melbourne's Pride Centre.
JAM! SUPPORTER: Jane Crawley
Director of Arts Investment at Creative Victoria &
Board member at Naarm's (Melbourne's) Pride Centre

Acknowledgement of Country

JAM! meets and works in ‘Mirring-gnay-bir-nong’ (Maribyrnong), which can translate as ‘I can hear a ringtail possum’, on the stolen lands of the Bunurong/Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri/Woiwurrung of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge, recognise and respect their Ancestors, Elders and families as the traditional owners of this land who have never ceded sovereignty.

Warning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, please be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Support – If you require support, please contact 13 9276 (YARN) or The Healing Foundation.

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