January 26

On January 26, the offices of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Express Media, Melbourne Writers Festival and Writers Victoria will be open.

Individual staff members at these organisations have chosen to work on January 26, and as a result the organisations will remain open. The organisations support their employees’ decisions to express solidarity with First Nations peoples in this way.

January 26 marks the day that Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove and raised the national flag of the United Kingdom, thereby founding the colony of NSW. This date marks the beginning of dispossession and marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For many First Nations people, January 26 is a sad and painful day, a reminder of the lasting and traumatic effects this dispossession has caused.

EWF, Express Media, MWF and Writers Victoria work closely with First Nations writers and storytellers, and are committed to supporting these communities.