Honouring Survival Day: A Reflection on the Resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Original post by our founder Kerry Arabena on karabenaconsulting.com


This is the first Survival Day event post the referendum to include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution failed. Survival Day, also known as Invasion Day, is a solemn occasion that invites us to reflect on the resilience and strength of our families, friends and communities so soon after the majority of voters in all Australian states voted ‘No’ to having our voices recognised. For many, this day is not a cause for celebration but an opportunity to acknowledge our enduring spirit as we have faced, and continue to face many and cumulative historical challenges. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of Survival Day, its historical context, and the importance of fostering understanding and respect.


Understanding Diverse Perspectives:

Survival Day is a prompt for all Australians to consider the diverse perspectives and lived experiences that exist within the Australian community. While some may view it as a day to acknowledge the survival and resilience of the world’s oldest continuing culture , others may see it as a time to mourn the losses of language and lore and the loss of life caused by the challenges brought about by colonisation. It is essential to approach these perspectives with empathy and openness, fostering conversations that promote understanding and mutual respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our allies, others who are newly arrived to Australia and those whose family connections are generations long


The Importance of Acknowledgment and Cultural Awareness:

Survival Day calls for a deeper acknowledgment of historical injustices and a commitment to cultural awareness. It prompts us to reflect on the ongoing impact of colonisation and the importance of revitalising Australia’s 300 strong cultures and languages. As a society, we must actively engage in initiatives that promote cultural understanding, support Indigenous businesses, and contribute to the broader goal of reconciliation. These are the signs of maturation as a nation, and a solid foundation for a bright and prosperous future for all. 


Supporting Indigenous Businesses:

As an Indigenous Business, we also recognise Survival Day as an opportunity to highlight and support First Nations businesses across the country. By actively engaging with and promoting products and services offered by Indigenous entrepreneurs, we can contribute to economic empowerment, community development and share our products and services with Australia and the world. Purchasing from Indigenous businesses during the period of time leading up to and after Survival Day is a tangible way to honour entrepreneurs, and to recognise the contribution we are making to our families, friends and communities.


Moving Forward with Respect:

Survival Day is an occasion to commit to ongoing efforts towards respect, understanding, and justice. As we reflect on the historical challenges faced by our peoples, know that in 2024, we are also striving to create a future where cultural diversity is celebrated, and the rights and contributions of our people  are fully recognised. By fostering a spirit of respect and collaboration, we can contribute to building a society that honours the resilience and strength of all Australians, including First Nations peoples.



Survival Day is an enduring reminder of the historical challenges faced by Australia's Indigenous peoples. By approaching this day with sensitivity, understanding diverse perspectives, and actively supporting Indigenous businesses, we can contribute to building a more respectful and inclusive future. Let us honour the resilience of Indigenous communities and work towards a society that embraces cultural diversity with the utmost respect.

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