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Australia Day, 26 January 2023

The 26th of January is now referred to as Australia Day. For many First Nation people it is not a day of celebration but often one of sorrow and reflection, recognising the deep hurt of how this country was colonised and what that meant for First Nation people then and now.

At the heart of the feelings is the lack of truth telling in our country. The inability for any real recognition over the last 200 plus years to tell the truth about the first people, and what happened after the first fleet. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want the same thing, to be known and celebrated as the first people, to have real investment in bring back our languages and allowing full practice of customs and lore. Mostly the real history of this country recorded and taught in schools.

On Australia Day, Kambu Health pays respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and how as the oldest continual culture it has shaped this land, we all now call Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this land respected the seasons, waterways, seas, flora, and fauna, for over 60 000 years.

We lived in harmony with the earth never taking too much and paying respect to the bounty it offered.

Our desire is that Australia Day is a time for inclusion, as well as an opportunity for greater understanding and reconciliation. As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we want to take our place, have a voice, and be respected and acknowledged for our contribution which continues today. We have demonstrated resilience and learnt to live in two worlds, never voluntarily giving up our lore, our ways, and our connections. Always was and always will be!

We hope one day it can be a day when Australians from all backgrounds come together to celebrate the success and optimism of our modern, tolerant, and multicultural society: and the strength and resilience of First Nation Australians, our stories and our history is at the fore.

Kambu Health supports every First Nation person’s right to commemorate this day in their own way. We do ask that if you celebrate, you take a long moment to think of the first peoples of this land, the hurt, and the pain of what was taken, the many talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the children, the communities and reflect on how you can play a bigger role it righting the wrongs of the past and making a future that allows all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take their place, hold their heads high and be recognised as the sovereign peoples of this place we all call home!

Kambu Health will operate the Ipswich Clinic on Australia Day with most staff having the choice to work on Australia Day, take the public holiday, or swap the holiday to Friday. This approach is a contemporary response to a day that not everyone welcomes and wants to acknowledge. Whether you celebrate, barbeque, spend it with friends or family, march in a protest or in solemn reflection, the choice remains yours, and we support your choice!

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