25 January 2024
CEO message: We’re changing the date ourselves
Happy New Year to you all and I hope that 2024 has started brilliantly, after a period of rest and relaxation with loved ones. We’re excited to kick off the year with renewed energy and focus on our strategic priorities, and we look forward to sharing some big new initiatives with you over the coming months.
On Friday 26 January, CMY is proud to take action to Change the Date Ourselves again. We feel strongly that this is not a date to celebrate. It is a day of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, representing the genocide of their people, dispossession of their land and the traumatic impacts of colonisation that are felt to this day.
I have been heartened by the response of our staff to Change the Date Ourselves, with the majority taking up the opportunity to work on this day and take a substitute public holiday during NAIDOC week. Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, CMY is committed to contributing to an Australia in which First Nations peoples’ rights to self-determination, culture and land are recognised and respected.
As more and more organisations and individuals join the movement to Change the Date themselves on 26 January, we hope the groundswell of support will lead to an inclusive nation-wide holiday. This should be a day that unites us all, while acknowledging Australia’s history, rich cultural heritage and the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
However you choose to spend 26 January, we hope you will take some time to reflect and deepen your understanding of the history and significance of this day for First Nations Australians.
Carmel Guerra OAM
Chief Executive Officer