January 26 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony returns in 2023

Ballarat’s Survival Day Dawn Ceremony is set to return on 26 January, in what is becoming one of the most momentous days on the city’s calendar.

The Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) invites everyone to the ceremony to be held from 5.30am at View Point, Lake Wendouree.

KEAG is an advisory committee that provides the City of Ballarat with expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.

The dawn ceremony commemorates Sovereign First Peoples who fought in the frontier wars and those who died in widespread massacres across Australia during colonisation, which began on January 26, 1788.

The January 26 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony also aims to remember the Stolen Generation and to bring the community together, to start the day off on a meaningful, healing, and respectful journey.

The ceremony, which will be held for the fourth time, has grown steadily since its inception in 2020.

More than 1000 people attended the 2022 event despite the COVID pandemic, with this year’s crowd expected to be even bigger.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the dawn ceremony was incredibly important for the city to commemorate.

“We fully acknowledge that 26 January is an incredibly difficult day for many people, and it is absolutely crucial we never forget that,” Cr Hudson said.

“The ceremony provides a moment to pause and reflect and to share some truths of the past.

“It is an opportunity for everybody, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to unite and reflect.”

The ceremony will start at 5.30am at View Point, Lake Wendouree and will last for about one hour.

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