UCA Statements

National Day

01 July 1997

The Assembly resolves:

in concert with many other Australians, to take the view that the nation must find a date for a National Day which has the capacity to unite all Australians in celebration. Successive Assemblies since 1982 have recognised that 26 January divides rather than unites the nation. Aboriginal people have observed that day as a Day of Mourning or Invasion Day or Survival Day for many years. It reminds them of the dispossession and marginalisation of their people over the past two centuries.

The Assembly therefore:

(a) supports a change in the date of our National Day, and urges the Federal Government to promote community discussion directed towards identification of a date for Australia Day with greater power to unite than 26 January;

(b) recommends to presbyteries and parishes that until an alternative date has been agreed they take steps to have local Governments incorporate into the observance of 26 January as Australia Day the frank recognition that the day represents for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people dispossession and alienation over the past 200 years;

(c) recommends to parishes that on the Sunday nearest to 26 January congregations be invited to include in their worship prayers confessing marginalisation of Aboriginal people in their own land and praying for a just and harmonious future.