Ballarat's Survival Day Dawn Ceremony to be livestreamed in 2021

Ballarat’s award-winning Survival Day Dawn Ceremony will be livestreamed from Lake Wendouree on 26 January this year with the aim of creating an educational documentary.

The Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) will livestream the 2021 event from 5.30am at Lake Wendouree's View Point, opening the event to a virtual worldwide audience.

Due to COVID restrictions on public gatherings, the 2021 ceremony is a virtual event but KEAG is pleased to be able to livestream into people’s homes so that more community members can witness and feel part of the service.

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

KEAG says the January 26 Survival Day Dawn Ceremony is aimed at bringing community together to start the day off on a meaningful, healing and respectful journey (just as the ANZAC Day Dawn Service is important to all Australians) to acknowledge people who fought for a better life for us today.

Last year’s inaugural ceremony was awarded the Highly Commended Award in Reconciliation Victoria’s HART Awards (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) and is a finalist in the upcoming 2021 LGPro Awards for Excellence in the Indigenous Community Partnerships Initiative category.

KEAG is grateful for the continued support of the City of Ballarat, Ballarat businesses such as Healthy Mind and Soul, and Federation University, which has signed on as a major supporter.

“It is critically important that we incorporate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of university life and our continuing support of the Survival Day Dawn Ceremony is another marker of our respect and our solidarity with KEAG, the City of Ballarat and other supporters of this event,” said Federation University's Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Duncan Bentley.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney described the event as an incredibly special ceremony, acknowledging for many it was a day of mixed emotions and, for Aboriginal Australians, a day of profound hurt.

“26 January is a time to pause and reflect on what it means to live in this great land. It’s a time to remember our history, the good and the bad,” Cr Moloney said.

The City of Ballarat will also hold its Citizenship Ceremony on Tuesday 26 January this year and, in 2022, will introduce a new intercultural community event to promote understanding, respect and reconciliation.

Click here to view the livestream on 26 January.

People are also invited to upload images of themselves watching the livestream to the KEAG Facebook page.

Image: ChipShots Photography