Ballarat’s Survival Day Ceremony is set to return on the 26th of January.
Now in its fourth year, Australia Day in Ballarat will again begin with the ceremony to commemorate Sovereign First Peoples who fought in the frontier wars and those who died in widespread massacres across Australia during colonisation, which began on January 26, 1788.
Council reports more than 1000 people attended the 2022 event despite the COVID pandemic, with bigger crowds expected this year.
The Survival Day Dawn Ceremony was one of the first of its kind in Australia on its inception in Ballarat in 2020, giving members from all sides of the community the chance to acknowledge the impacts of colonisation on Indigenous people, and also remember the Stolen Generation.
Ballarat City Mayor Cr. Des Hudson says it’s important for all to face truths of the past.
“For a lot of different people (Australia Day) is a day of hurt, so I think it’s lovely that we can be up front and be about truth telling, in terms of making this a key focus of the events on Australia Day.”
City of Ballarat Cr Belinda Coates, who is also the co-chair of the Koorie Engagement Action Group, says the ceremony has been profound for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
“It’s been a great opportunity to show solidarity, but also a great opportunity to learn and deepen cultural knowledge, understanding and empathy. And it’s been really interesting how the conversations are evolving (on the impacts of colonisation) around Australia.”
The ceremony takes place at 5.30am at View Point, Lake Wendouree.