Langford Aboriginal Association wants to use Australia Day to spread indigenous culture

LANGFORD Aboriginal Association (LAA) manager Jill Abdullah wants to use Australia Day to help spread Aboriginal culture.

Ms Abdullah acknowledged the negative connotations surrounding the day but believed the best way forward was to use the day to educate people about Aboriginal culture.

The City of Gosnells recently approved a policy to “protect” its Australia Day celebrations on January 26. The decision came in the wake of several councils around Australia debating whether or not to celebrate Australia Day.

Ms Abdullah said the day still held negative connotations for some Aboriginal people, but it could be used to expose non-|Aboriginal people to their culture.

“From an Aboriginal perspective, there’s a black history there which needs to be told; massacres and other bad things happened which are in other people’s minds and passed down from generation to generation,” she said.

“With the City of Gosnells, we have had some discussions. They came to us for advice about how to keep Australia Day as it is but also how to be inclusive of Aboriginal people in the ceremonies.”

Ms Abdullah said the LAA had a strong relationship with the City of Gosnells and had discussed ways to improve the representation of Aboriginal culture.

“We’re working on how to include Aboriginal people so people who are newer to Australia actually understand how they came to settle but also there is a black history and how to expose them to that,” she said.

“It’s a solution which isn’t political, controversial; it’s a quiet educational process so people are able to embrace that cross-cultural understanding.”

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