The year took off with a bang for the Evolve team as we prepared for one of the most significant dates in our calendar, January 26th.
Increasingly Australians are seeking to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they’re questioning the logic of celebrating on a day of mourning, and a big mob of Allies showed up for our Survival Day webinar!
In the webinar, Evolve’s co-Directors, Aunty Munya Andrews and Carla Rogers, shared How to Be An Ally on January 26th. Our friends at HRM did a great job capturing the key takeaways in their article, Five Ways To Be An Ally To Indigenous Employees on Australia Day.
But now January has passed, we urge you not to wait another year to show up for the rights of Indigenous people in Australia. Real change takes consistent action which is the sentiment behind this year’s NAIDOC week theme: Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
To help you on your Allyship journey, we have identified seven ways that you can keep showing up for First Nations people, all year round.
How to Show Up as an Ally in 2022
1. Recognise more significant dates
If like us you spent January preparing events and communications for the year ahead, you might have referenced a content calendar. These calendars provide suggestions of dates to acknowledge, from Groundhog Day to World Pizza Day, but few contain dates of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So we created our own! You can download our 2022 calendar here and discover dates to show your support every month.
2. Write your own Acknowledgement of Country
It’s become increasingly common to hear an Acknowledgement of Country at public events, schools and workplaces but have you considered writing your own to be used in your home? An Acknowledgement of Country is a wonderful way for non-Indigenous people to participate in Indigenous culture and it also provides an opportunity to find out the names of the Traditional Owners and Country of the land you live on. Carla provides a guide here.
3. Learn as much as you can about our shared history
Do you know the true story of colonisation in Australia? For decades our schools taught history from a perspective that favoured the majority. That’s why non-Indigenous people are often shocked when they learn about the multiple massacres, slavery, stolen children and fights for Civil Rights that pepper our shared history. While these things may have happened in the past, the impact is still being felt today. And while there’s nothing to be gained from feelings of guilt and shame, facing up to our past is essential if we are to heal and move forward together. That’s why understanding our shared history is one of our Seven Steps to Practical Reconciliation™.
4. Learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Culture
In the words of 2021 Senior Australian of the Year and Aboriginal Elder, Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann:
“We have learned to speak the white man’s language. We have listened to what he had to say. This learning and listening should go both ways. We would like people in Australia to take time to listen to us. We are hoping people will come closer. We keep on longing for the things that we have always hoped for – respect and understanding.”
5. Understand your privilege
The thing to remember about privilege is that it’s often invisible to those who have it. Our Online Privilege Walk reveals the hidden privileges that contribute to inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. When we understand how privilege works, we can start taking action to close the gap.
6. Interrupt Racism
This one takes courage but it doesn’t have to be confrontational. It simply means that you let people who make racist remarks know that you don’t agree with, or support, what they have said. If done right, rather than turning into an argument, it can lead to a stronger relationship. Discover our tips for transforming difficult conversations here.
7. Make a commitment to show up, all year round
The Evolve Webinar Subscription provides a monthly opportunity to deepen your cultural awareness, champion Reconciliation and lead with empathy and inclusion. As a subscriber, you’ll have the option to attend live monthly webinars and watch the playbacks on-demand – you also get access to our online members hub which is packed full of extra resources, and you’ll be sent a personalised welcome pack that includes copies of our books, Practical Reconciliation and Journey Into Dreamtime. Find out more here.
What actions will you take this year to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up? Share your commitments in the comments and help us inspire more Allies to create a kinder, more inclusive Australia.