Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Wunyungar.
Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Wunyungar.

’No pride in genocide’: Rocky rally to mourn and move

Darumbal Enterprises and First Nations volunteers will host a rally in the Rockhampton CBD on Tuesday morning.

The march is intended to depict mourning and momentum: mourning about the killing and imprisonment of Indigenous people and the corporate use of their land; momentum towards recompense, solution, and equality.

Those attending the 'Invasion Day Rally' will gather at Central Park at 9am and walk to the riverfront, where there will be speakers, dancers, and music.

Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Wunyungar (Alwyn Doolan) said the demonstration would point to the plight of Indigenous peoples throughout the country, who suffer a "political existence that is continually denied".

He said Woorabinda, his home, was born from the forced removal of children from their parents, and that Rockhampton itself still bears the markings of early explorers who "forced the blacks out".

"There is no pride in celebrating genocide," he said.

"First Nations sovereignty has never been ceded. Black people are still being killed and the destruction of First Nations lands for capitalist profit is escalating despite the global climate emergency."

Wunyungar leading a rally.
Wunyungar leading a rally.

Wunyungar has many slogans: 'Water Is Life', 'Black Lives Matter', 'Stop Black Deaths In Custody', and 'Change The Date'.

He said a "change of heart within the wider Australian public" was needed after decades of repeated demands.

"There are things in society that just need to change," Wunyungar said.

"There have been numerous occasions of these rallies happening since 1938, when there was the first day of mourning that got put forward by First Nations people.

"So we're talking 80 years and we're voicing pretty much the same aspects - that January 26 is a day of mourning."

Despite the slow passage of progress, he said, Indigenous people were "seeing a change within the youth".

The Rockhampton rally organisers insist on physical distancing, mask-wearing, and electronic check-ins.

They request that marchers bring their own masks and hand sanitiser.