WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains names and descriptions of people who have died.
In 2021, Mamamia will only refer to January 26 by its date, to acknowledge that it is not a day of celebration for all Australians. If you want to be an ally this January 26, we urge you to sign this letter to your MP about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for constitutional change and structural reform that recognises the sacred, ancient spiritual link Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to their land.
As I watch the New Year's Eve fireworks show each year, a dark cloud slowly looms over me.
January, and more specifically January 26, is a Day of Mourning for our people (the first Day of Mourning protest took place on January 26, 1938). With the advances in technology each year, I expect to see more and more ignorant comments.
Media outlets thrive on divisive polls that create a space for people to share their ignorant and bigoted opinions, even people I once considered friends.
Watch: The Stolen Generations: Why I Can't 'Get Over It'. Post continues below.
"It's just a date" is a common theme. When I try to engage in a respectful conversation on the matter I am always met with complete disdain which always ends in a pile on of non-Indigenous folk telling me that I "need to get over it" or should think myself lucky that (insert country) didn’t invade us.
Soon after things turn personal. I find myself being that angry Aboriginal girl I was in high school when I would be taunted with racial slurs until I would snap, and the air would be filled with laughter.
I can only speak for myself as a proud Gamilaroi and Kooma woman but I was not given the gift of generational trauma that is embedded in the person I am for nothing.