Vigil planned for Australia Day

By Te Ao Māori News
File: Australia Day protesters at 'Invasion Day' rally

A massive overnight vigil based at Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney Harbour is being planned for this Australia Day.

The event has been organised by the Sydney Festival.

A day of patriotism and celebration for some, Australia Day has served as a painful reminder of colonisation and disenfranchisement for aboriginal peoples. 

The vigil will begin with the lighting of the fire at 8pm on Friday 25 January and will continue into Australia Day on the 26th.  The date marks 250 years since Captain Cook encountered Australia.

Organisers hope to reflect on the impact of colonisation in Australia, the significance of the day before the First Fleet arrived, and what happened after.

A mass drop-in choir will perform Baraya: Sing Up Country, taught in the  local language by Aunty Jacinta Tobin and Yuwaalaraay woman Nardi Simpson.

Musical performances and stories from current and future community elders are also planned. 

Organisers promise a "colourful, emotionally powerful" event with many thousands of people expected to take part.