For tens of thousands of years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been the custodians of the country we now call Australia. Today, all Australians are proud that the oldest living culture in the world lives here on our land and within our shores.
On Australia Day our deep respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is infused into everything that we undertake as part of our commemorations. But in doing so we acknowledge that the 26th of January is a date that for many is a reminder of the hurt caused by the arrival of Europeans to this land.
Our desire is that Australia Day is a time, above all, for inclusion, as well as an opportunity for greater understanding and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
We hope that it can be a day in which Australians from all backgrounds come together and celebrate the success and optimism of our modern, tolerant and multicultural society and the strength and resilience of our first peoples.
We commit to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, elders and peoples about Australia Day activities in a true partnership, including seeking counsel and permission to draw on this vibrant and profound culture.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the countries and lands on which Australia Day activities take place, particularly the Gadigal who are the traditional owners of the lands around Sydney Harbour.
And more than that, we hope to engage all Australians at a deeper level as we continue to work towards the best expression of our national day activities, ensuring that every aspect of our day is welcoming, inclusive and representative of the enormous diversity of this great country.