Statement by ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie: Invasion Day, January 26, 2024

As Violet Roumeliotis, ACOSS Deputy President, wrote so eloquently earlier this week, “whether you recognise the day as ‘Australia Day’ or ‘Invasion Day’, January 26 is a day of mourning for our land’s traditional custodians”.

Like Violet, I am not be celebrating 26 January. I am joining in actions of solidarity with First Nations people calling for justice and self-determination.

ACOSS marks 26 January as a day of mourning in recognition of the history of genocide and violence against First Nations peoples. We support our staff who wish to work on 26 January as an act of protest and solidarity with First Nations people. We also recognise the many ways in which the 26 January public celebrations serve to underscore the deep generational trauma and grief experienced and shared by so many First Nations people.

In recognition of this first post-referendum Invasion Day, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health sector is proactively preparing for what may be a challenging and distressing period for communities.

I encourage you to act today. Channel your support towards organisations and campaigns led by First Nations people, fostering a collective commitment to First Nations justice and self-determination:

Change the Record:
Close the Gap:
NATSILS – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services:
NACCHO – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation:
NFVPLS – National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum:
Raise the Age:
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children:
The Uluru Statement from the Heart:

If you haven’t already done so, I also strongly urge you to click here to read and sign the Statement of Solidarity with First Nations Communities on behalf of your organisation.

With love and solidarity today,

Cassandra Goldie