'Day of Mourning' anniversary


'Day of Mourning' anniversary

On January 26, 1938, more than 100 Aboriginal people from communities in NSW, Victoria and Queensland gathered in Sydney to mark the "Day of Mourning" — the 150th anniversary of the invasion by British colonists at Sydney Cove.

The assembled Aboriginal representatives met in the Australia Hall — now the Mandolin Cinema — to draw up a manifesto for civil rights for Aborigines. Those who could not afford to make the trip sent messages of solidarity.

To mark that historic gathering, the National Aboriginal History and Heritage Council is organising a gathering in the same place on the same date, 60 years later.

The meeting will celebrate and honour those courageous people by re-enacting and reaffirming the decisions made in 1938. There will speeches by original participants. The meeting will assess what progress has been made in the past 60 years and discuss "Our Ten Points", a list of demands for major changes to Aboriginal policy.

The commemoration will begin with a silent procession from Sydney Town Hall, beginning at 10am, Monday, January 26. The procession will follow the original route of the 1938 procession. The re-enactment will begin at 11.15am at Australia Hall (Mandolin Cinema), 150 Elizabeth St, Sydney.