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Over the last 2 weeks the Guild has been running a campaign asking that the Town of Victoria Park no longer celebrates the 26th of January. On the 26th, a group of Guild representatives attended the Invasion Day rally in the city to demonstrate our solidarity with Australia’s First Nations people and be part of the growing movement of Australians saying no to celebrating dispossession and attempted genocide. Today, a number of Guild representatives and professional staff have chosen not to treat the Australia Day public holiday as something worth recognising - we have been hard at work and continuing administrative operations as per a regular working day.
We recognise that Australia Day is far from the biggest issue faced by the Indigenous community, and that choosing not to recognise it does not undo the injustices of the past or solve the ongoing systematic oppression of Australia’s First Nations people; however, we believe it is a small and necessary step towards a fairer and more just Australia. We need to show the Indigenous community that their voices are heard and the injustice they have suffered will not be swept under the rug.
The Curtin Student Guild has chosen not to celebrate dispossession for several years now and we will continue to stand in solidarity with Australia’s First Nations people until the gap in education, life expectancy, incarceration rates and living conditions is closed; this movement is growing every year and we are proud to be part of it.
50th Guild President
No Guild staff are being forced to work and we are certainly not opposed to the hardworking people of Australia having public holidays - we just don’t believe that the Australia Day public holiday is one worth recognising. Staff who have chosen to work today will be given the option to take a day off on a different day.
No staff who work today will be receiving additional pay/penalty rates - all of the staff who have been given the option to work today are full time staff who do not receive public holiday penalty rates.