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Byron Shire
March 31, 2023

Bundjalung host Byron Shire Survival Day 

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Mia Thom. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Main Beach Park in Cavanbah – Byron Bay, was the place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered yesterday to celebrate the longest-living culture in the world – people who are now living on unceded land.

Hundreds gathered to listen and sign petitions, many queueing in the hot January sun to make sure they put their name on paper and be counted as standing in solidarity with Aboriginal people with the understanding that is Always Was and Always Will be Aboriginal Land.

The message of the day the same one that was echoed across the country – January 26 is a day of mourning for Aboriginal People and not a day to celebrate the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and the ensuing decimation and colonisation of First Nation People.

Deadly poem from the past

Hundreds gathered to listen to Aboriginal People speak. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Arakwal woman Delta Kay opened the event with a Welcome to Country and her niece Nickolla Clark read aloud a deadly poem written by her grandmother Aunty Dulcie Nicholls, who sadly passed away in 2021.

Bundjalung women Ella Noah Bancroft and Mia Thom also spoke passionately about the challenges for Indigenous People including youth, both historically and right now.

Delta Kay said it was a great celebration with music by Jarrod Hickling and Backyard Band. ‘There is huge momentum to change the date, and people asking how they can support blackfullas.’

The event was hosted by the Arakwal Bundjalung People of Byron Bay, the Sisters for Reconciliation and the Cavanbah Reconciliation Group and was sponsored by Byron Shire Council.

Photos Jeff Dawson


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    • Surely quality matters more than quantity? Otherwise chimpanzee cultural norms have been around longer. That said, there are tribes in Africa that have lived were they are longer than the Aboriginals.

  1. A great celebration with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. “First Nations” that means the same thing, is perhaps more acceptable in the USA than here.
    But verily I say to you “Those who accept that ‘sovereignty was never ceded’ must give up their freehold (in fee simple) or perhaps their MO (as tenants in common), to the local Mob.”

    • You mean, the longer the Aboriginals keep living around us the Whiter they are getting and thus will eventually go extinct and be but a minor genetic foot note in the genomes of a small number of White people?

  2. Yeas we have a bit of a dilemma on ownership. It was illegal under British Royal law, British Parliamentary Law and International law to takeover occupied land. The British Royal dictate ‘to set up a settlement with the agreement of local people’ never got an agreement. No one declared war and now one surrendered, so while the Australians of immigrant back ground think they own this country, the Aboriginal people know they still do. I think the confusion came from the long time of a year to send a letter to England and to get the response – with the Response something like “If there is nobody there, where are these shields, spears and decapitated heads for the museum from?”, and another 6 months for the response back to England, that probably said something like ” we cleared all the natives off the beach by shooting at them, and I meant that just the beach was empty of people”. So still a bit to actually sort out if we all want to stand together, both people of immigrant backgrounds and Aboriginals, as united fellow countrymen and women

    • If you are claiming Aboriginals did not migrate here, then you are suggesting they evolved here and thus are not human. You’re not the first White man to think that. ‘No humans here. Terra Nullis!’

      In nature, whoever can hold the land, owns the land. See possums for details. In common law, those who make the most productive use of the land, can claim the land. That’s where squatters rights come from.

      The Aboriginals are made up of 4 different groups of people with completely different genetic background that arrive at completely different times from completely different places. You’re simply discriminating against the 5th group to arrive here.


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