Posted on May 25, 2023

Geelong Council Agrees to Stop Celebrating Australia Day

The Guardian, May 24, 2023

Geelong city council has voted to stop recognising 26 January as Australia Day, joining three other Victorian councils that have ceased holding citizenship ceremonies and other events on that date.

Geelong councillors on Tuesday night instead resolved to use the date to acknowledge Indigenous Australians through cultural events and activities in the region.

Citizenship ceremonies will no longer take place on 26 January and instead will be held within three days of that date.

The council sought community feedback before making its decision, and about 68% of survey respondents said change was needed.

Every one of the 447 First Nations respondents to the survey “wanted a change to the way the day is commemorated”, a report to councillors said.

“When evaluating overall sentiment of feedback received, 100% of First Nations Peoples comments included negative feelings; of sadness, disconnection, or a wish for change about the subject,” the report said.