Björn Rust (he/him) is a post-industrial designer cum researcher, innovator and educator, developing context-sensitive innovation practices for people, planet and beyond.

Recent writings

  1. Opportunity hoarding
  2. Doing away with bullshit
  3. The course of my life, so far

Day of Mourning

On this day in 1938, Jack Patten, William Ferguson and William Cooper united as the APA (Aborigines Progressive Association) lead the first ‘Day of Mourning’ protest. This date marked the 150th anniversary of the European seizure of the lands we call Australia from its native inhabitants. European Australians celebrated this same date in part by reenacting the arrival of the First Fleet in Port Jackson with Aboriginal men plucked from their homes and kept overnight in the Redfern police barracks stables.

The APA was launched one year earlier, by William Ferguson, a trade unionist and Aboriginal politician, along with civil rights activist and journalist, Jack Patten. Its mission could be summarised by the resolution that appeared on their proclamation.

WE, representing THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA, assembled in Conference at the Australian Hall, Sydney, on the 26th day of January, 1938, this being the 150th anniversary of the whitemen’s seizure of our country, HEREBY MAKE PROTEST against the callous treatment of our people by the whitemen in the past 150 years, AND WE APPEAL to the Australian Nation to make new laws for the education and care of Aborigines, and for a new policy which will raise our people to FULL CITIZEN STATUS and EQUALITY WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.

Following the Congress, Prime Minister Joseph Lyons spent two hours with the organisers, but nothing practical resulted, which is largely true of the 79 years since.

Inspired by: The Guardian view on Australia Day: change the date


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