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ABC promotes ‘invasion and survival day’ rallies on January 26

Australia’s national broadcaster has told social media users “it’s time to turn up” at “invasion and survival day” marches and events on Australia Day.

The ABC’s Instagram account abcindigenous shared a detailed list of 29 events around Australia on January 26 using Indigenous place names, all themed around invasion, survival or mourning, while none celebrated Australia Day.

The post ended with the slogan “always was, always will be” and was captioned “Did we miss an event near you? Drop them below” but comments have since been turned off.

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes told Sky News: “This is supposed to be the national broadcaster, yet they can’t seem to help themselves from doing everything they can to diminish the pride we should all feel in our wonderful country.

“If the ABC wants to act like undergraduate activists at every opportunity, perhaps it’s time the Australian taxpayer stopped footing the bill.”

The post comes amid calls for a boycott of Woolworths, Aldi and Kmart for refusing to sell Australia Day-themed merchandise this year, and after the ABC was criticised for its New Year’s Eve coverage which was heavily politicised and featured extremist Indigenous performers.

A poll last week showed only 17% of Australians support changing the date of Australia Day, and most are proud of their country and history.

In 2021 the ABC was forced to drop a reference to “invasion day” in an article about January 26 titled “Australia Day/Invasion Day 2021 events guide for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin”.

The taxpayer-funded broadcaster initially defended the terminology but then changed the headline to “Australia Day is a contentious day for many. Here are the events being held on January 26”.

The ABC confirmed in a statement afterwards its policy was to use the term Australia Day.

“As the editorial advice states, other terms can be used when they are appropriate in certain contexts. This does not mean they are used interchangeably,” the statement said.

 

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