21 Jan 2018
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
The Territory Labor Government has provided $50,000 in first of its kind funding to help Territorians celebrate Australia Day meaningfully and in a unified way.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the grants funding is about new ways Territorians can commemorate, celebrate and acknowledge the importance of Aboriginal contribution to our national identity.
It comes on top of an additional $50,000 the NT Government has provided to the Australia Day Council (on top of their base funding of $140,000) for the celebration of Australia Day events across the Territory.
“Australia Day should be about unity, not division, and last year during a statement I made in Jabiru I said that it was imperative that Australia Day evolved,” Mr Gunner said.
“January 26 must meaningfully acknowledge the entire story of our nation. This means more than acknowledgement of country and a smoking ceremony.
“It means a genuine celebration of the Aboriginal contribution to our national identity. A celebration of all this continent’s waves of immigration.I asked if we could hit a balance between commemoration and respectful celebration, and wrote to the NT Australia Day Council to explore new ways forward.
“Today I am very pleased to be able to announce this first of its kind funding to various organisations, including the Australia Day Council, so that Australia Day can truly represent unity and harmony and be inclusive of all Australians.”
A variety of events and activities will be run across the Territory this week in areas including Angurugu, Belyuen, Nhulunbuy, Galiwinku and Atitjere.
“As President of the Australia Day Council, I want to ensure a balance between celebrations and ensuring new ways are explored that promote and encourage an approach that is inclusive of all Australians,” Mr Gunner said.
“The Territory should and will lead how we best celebrate Australia Day together.”