Skip navigation

Members statement: Invasion Day March

profile image
Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
5 February 2020

On 26 January this year I joined with our First Nations community and thousands of Victorians who marched the streets of Melbourne to mark Invasion Day. It is a day that represents pain and suffering for the First Peoples of this land, who were dispossessed of their country by colonisation. It is a day that began over 200 years of systematic oppression and discrimination. Untold devastation and loss was experienced through the frontier wars. It is a history that our country has not reconciled, it is a history that is barely acknowledged, and it is time to tell the truth.

On this Invasion Day the crowds that stretched from Spring Street to Bourke Street and beyond were demanding, asking for and pleading for truth, justice and reconciliation. The ask from our First Nations was a call to pay the rent. This movement has grown across our country, especially over the last few years, and there is no doubt that the conversation is changing. For decades First Nations have been working tirelessly for this history to be heard. Through grassroots consultations, many local councils have joined with them in solidarity, refusing to celebrate our national day on such an inappropriate date. A national debate has raged since, and many Australians have changed their views. They have come to understand and accept that if we do not tell the truth, if we do not acknowledge the suffering of dispossession and colonisation, we cannot heal. I hope that our leaders can learn to open their hearts and minds to this truth too. We cannot bridge the gap between our First Nations and the rest of the community if we do not.

profile image
Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
5 February 2020
SHARE:

WHAT I'M FIGHTING FOR


In Parliament

PARLIAMENT

Questions without Notice: Public Housing redevelopments

Dr RATNAM (Northern Metropolitan) : My question is for the minister representing the Minister for Housing. There have been some major problems with the government’s failed public housing renewal program that began in 2018, which is still continuing, albeit under a different name. Many residents were aggressively relocated from their...

PARLIAMENT

Constituency question: North Melbourne Language and Learning

My question today is for the Minister for Housing. I recently met with representatives from North Melbourne Language and Learning, a local learning organisation and community hub based on the North Melbourne public housing estate. NMLL have been supporting residents and the broader North Melbourne community for over 30 years and...

PARLIAMENT

Members statements: Refugee week

This week marks Refugee Week across Australia, and yesterday was World Refugee Day. It is an opportunity to recognise the immense courage and strength of the millions of people seeking asylum and refuge across the world and the urgent need for global solutions to end the war, poverty and persecution...

PARLIAMENT

Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022

I rise today to speak on the Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022, a bill which I and the Greens absolutely welcome and support. This bill bans the public display of the hateful Nazi symbol, the Hakenkreuz, when displayed with the knowledge that it is a symbol of Nazi...