here in this place
The Maggolee website, developed by Reconciliation Victoria, supports engagement and partnerships between local government and Aboriginal communities.

why is this important?

26 January is one of the most painful days of the year for First Peoples. It marks the beginning of 230 years of dispossession, genocide and loss. Some local councils have already changed how they mark the day, and it is important for all councils to listen to the local First Peoples community when deciding what action to take. Having these continuing and respectful conversations locally will help all councils reflect on what they stand for and what date in our history best reflects those values and attributes. 

Recommended Strategies

  • Consult with local First Peoples about 26 January and consider council’s position on the day.
  • Provide alternate, culturally safe events on 26 January for First Peoples to attend.
  • Invite Traditional Owners to play a special role in any 26 January events you are organising but understand and respect their feelings if they do not wish to take part.
  • Participate in existing or create new regional networks focused on the topic, such as the Local Government 26 January Network.
  • Lower the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags to half-mast on the day.
  • Hold a minute’s silence at the start of any formal events to acknowledge the continuing injustices that colonisation has created. 

Case Studies

Darebin Council - Jan 26 Choice

After an historic vote in 2017, Darebin City Council has chosen to no longer host celebrations or ceremonies in the Darebin municipality on January 26th.

The GanbuGulin (One Mob) documentary follows the lead up to this monumental decision and showcases the Councils new, respectful, and culturally safe celebration, the Ngulu Ngajin Ganbu Gulin Festival, developed in collaboration with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee in 2019.

The Ganbu Gulin film is written and produced by Benjamin Theodore Pederick and Daniel King (director) (Goodmorningbeautiful Films) and captures this important story, demonstrating how local governments can take action to acknowledge past injustices and lead the way in forming a new state-wide identity where Councils work together in respectful partnership with First Peoples to determine culturally safe and appropriate ways to welcome new citizens to country.  

Key Contacts

Local Government 26 January Network (via Reconciliation Victoria)

links & resources

26 January Position Statement | Reconciliation Victoria

26 January Protocols and Suggestions | Reconciliation Victoria

Belgrave Survival Day

Share the Spirit Festival

Annual Invasion Day March | Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance

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