“Australia Day” message by Ex-detainees, Asylum seekers and Refugees at RISE

RISE does not endorse any movement or individuals who claim to be pro-refugee but celebrate “Australia day”.

To link our refugee community to such events and white-wash this history is not just insensitive to the Indigenous communities of Australia but also to most of us from ex-detainee/refugee/asylum seeker communities who are ourselves victims of colonisation, occupation and imperialism, and many of us who are also victims of genocide.

To parallel the 1788 arrival of white occupiers who came with the purpose of colonising this land and its people, with the arrival of refugees who come to seek protection, is offensive and disingenuous.

As refugee communities seeking protection and freedom, we acknowledge that we live on colonised land where Indigenous peoples are the traditional owners and where sovereignty has never been ceded.

The racism that pervades this country’s institutions and public spheres – the racism that our community members are subjected to in the form of mandatory, indefinite detention – has its foundations in the systemic and structural violence that Indigenous peoples in Australia continue to experience to this day.

RISE: Refugees, survivors & Ex-detainees, acknowledges that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original owners and custodians of the land that we live and work on.

Read our Invasion Day translations in Arabic, Burmese, Oromo, Tamil and Vietnamese here

RISE Team