Today, First Nations leaders want you to know this.

First Nations leaders have something they want the whole of Australia to hear. And to get involved in.

They've called for an international day of action for First Nations' rights on January 12, titled #Rally4CommUNITY.

Noongar community leaders in Perth have organised the day, and are asking for the population to "stand in unity and spirit for all Indigenous peoples who have been wronged by governments".

They say it's a time for First Nations people to have their voices heard. To come together and celebrate their resilience, their culture and their community. It's also a day for allies to work towards a better future for everyone. 

Watch: Stan Grant on how the trauma of the past is never far away for Indigenous Australians. Post continues below. 

Video via ABC.

Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker AM is a Wadjuk Noongar Aboriginal woman from Western Australia. She is a community development leader, academic, author and coach, and the chair of the Koya Aboriginal Corporation, which was founded by her late father.

Speaking with Mamamia, she says it's time to start focusing on grassroots and Aboriginal community controlled organisations. These are the groups that not only have the lived experience, but often the answers too. 


"This day of reckoning, a day of action, is about grabbing hold of the goodness out of all we've been through and figuring out what our next move is and how we're going to make the government more accountable," says Professor Kickett-Tucker.

The day of action comes amid the number of challenges the First Nations community has faced in the past year.

There was the Voice to Parliament. Although it shone a light on some really important conversations, the impact of the overall No vote and the related rhetoric was difficult for Indigenous leaders and their communities.

Then the Australian public was given a bleak update on the progress of the Closing The Gap targets. 

15 years on, 11 out of the 19 targets are failing according to the data. There remains a suicide rate that is still twice as high, an eight-year life expectancy gap, and the fact that a young Indigenous male is more likely to go to jail than university.

Professor Kickett-Tucker also notes the many examples of Black cladding that took place - the practice of a non-Indigenous business entity or individual taking unfair advantage of an Indigenous business entity or community. 

But amid the challenges - which need to be acknowledged - Indigenous leaders want to highlight the resilience of their people.

Supporting the young generation is front of mind for Professor Kickett-Tucker. Image: Supplied.


"The lens on us is usually 'the poor and the vulnerable', or suggestions that we're 'broken'. In reality, we're one of the strongest and most resilient groups on Earth. And it's high time we celebrate that," says Professor Kickett-Tucker.

"We're trying to teach our young generation about the strengths they have. This is what this day of action is about - as well as sending a message to the government that they need to reconnect themselves to grassroots organisations."

Often these sorts of conversations are wrapped up in a neat bow with the phrase 'reconciliation'. For Professor Kickett-Tucker, she feels indifferent to the word, saying it feels more like a "tick-a-box" for corporations.


Rather she hopes the focus returns to community power, and the importance of kinship. 

"Our people matter, our lives matter. Our worldviews matter. Our kids and our Elders Matter, elders matter. We are the solution to things that matter to us - and we're not defeated," she tells Mamamia.

"There is so much care, love and strength when our people are together, and that also plays out with our allies. I might have all these white lady titles and stuff, but I'm Black. I love my people, and I'll never let it down."

In a statement to Mamamia, Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said the government's priorities for First Nations groups are health, education, jobs, housing and justice. 

"We are getting on with the job of delivering a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are working closely with the Coalition of Peaks and the Joint Council on Closing the Gap. And we are working with First Nations communities on a range of significant reforms," she said. 

For a full list of plans for 2024, you can see here.

If you are in Perth and would like to get involved with the day of action, you can do so by joining the Rally for Community on January 12 at 12pm on the front steps of WA Parliament House.

Feature Image: AAP.