Invasion Day - Gadigal, 2018

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people marched on the 26th of January, 2018, from the Block in Redfern, through inner Sydney to the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park, to commemorate and protest the 230th anniversary of the British invasion of the First Nations of what is now known as Australia. The current debate in the mainstream about the meaning of the 26th of January, which has been celebrated as 'Australia Day' since 1994, helped swell the attendance to record numbers.

This year, the date also represents 180 years since the Waterloo Creek/Slaughterhouse Creek massacre where up to 500 Gomeroi people were slaughtered by police and militia in Northern NSW in 1838. The first Day of Mourning was also held 80 years ago on this day.

The Yabun Festival celebrates and acknowledges the survival of Aboriginal peoples through music, dance and discussion. Together, with the marchers, a record 50,000 people attended this year. On the main stage, the audience was entertained by Baraya, Kardajala Kirridarra from the Northern Territory, as well as other musicians, before Yolngu hip hop artist, Baker Boy, wowed the crowd. The day was capped off by a mesmerising performance by Electric Fields.