DCA Insights: Diverse perspectives on public holidays in the workplace

As 26 January approaches, DCA acknowledges the diverse perspectives surrounding this day.

Australia Day evokes different emotions for employees, and organisations are increasingly receptive to employees who do not feel comfortable taking the public holiday and choose to work on the day instead. More employers are embracing flexibility by offering alternatives.

It is widely recognised as a day of mourning by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who carry a heavy cultural load and trauma related to this day. DCA encourages employers to maintain a focus on cultural sensitivity and be mindful of this.

To support this, DCA has collated some helpful resources below.

How to be an ally:

Gari Yala told us that First Nations people already experience cultural load at work. We can lighten that load by educating ourselves. Research tells us that good allies do the work to educate themselves, others, and their organisation, rather than relying on people who are marginalised to shoulder this burden.

If you are interested in immersing yourself with community on 26 January and embracing and learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and truth telling, here are some examples and you can also look at what else might be happening in your local area:

Yabun Festival in Sydney
NGV – Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala in Melbourne
Birak Concert 2024 in Perth

Resources to Support Inclusive Practices: