Dawn service: Last year’s Survival Day Ceremony at the Lake Wendouree Viewpoint. Photo: FILE

Survival Day event set for livestream

January 22, 2021 BY

LIVESTREAMED from Viewpoint at Lake Wendouree, the Koorie Engagement Action Group will be once again recognising Survival Day with a ceremony at dawn.

Set to take place on Tuesday, 26 January from 5.30am, the service aims to commemorate First Nations peoples who fought in frontier wars and died in tragic massacres across Australia during colonisation.

As the co-chair of KEAG, alongside Jon Kanoa, Cr Belinda Coates said this year, due to the threat of COVID the service will be made available to watch to the public through a live stream.

“We’re hoping that people will tune in across the city, across the country and even across the world which is one of the advantages of livestreaming it as well,” she said.

“It’s aimed at bringing people together to really reflect on the meaning of the day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and keep those conversations going that started last year.

“We will have some local music and performance and the smoking ceremony, then a range of speakers including elders and young people.”

With last year’s inaugural ceremony winning a highly commended award in Reconciliation Victoria’s HART Awards and becoming a finalist for the 2021 LGPro awards for excellence in Indigenous community partnerships, the 2021 event is highly anticipated.

“It will be the second one that Ballarat has held, supported by the City of Ballarat,” Cr Coates said.

“Last year’s event was really well attended, over 1000 people attended, this year we’re hoping to build on the momentum from the profound experience of last year.

“For KEAG, we will keep building on the momentum from Survival Day.”

In addition to the event’s livestream, Ballarat filmmakers Wind and Sky Productions have been commissioned to create a documentary of the Survival Day Dawn Ceremony.

“This year we have a partnership with Federation University as well which is really positive,” Cr Coates said.

“KEAG will be in charge of the live stream but we have some documentary makers involved who will be taking some footage and putting it together.

“That’s the benefit of having the partnership with Federation University that they’re supporting that part of it, we’ll have a lasting recording and have it documented.”

While this year the City of Ballarat will continue its citizenship ceremony on January 26, in 2022 the city will seek to introduce a new community event aimed instead at understanding and reconciliation.

“Hoping that the event this year will build on those steps towards understanding and awareness in the community around the fuller picture of our history here in Australia,” Cr Coates said.

“Starting the day off with a respectful ceremony to raise awareness and work towards reconciliation is a really good start.

“We don’t have a treaty in Australia, sovereignty was never ceded and there is ongoing disadvantages and challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia and that’s not going away.”

You can view the 2021 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony at bit.ly/2VZXBsA and people are encouraged to upload images of themselves watching the to the KEAG Facebook page.