To help shape a respectful way to respond to 26 January moving forward, Capire worked with Council to seek diverse community feedback


Responding to 26 January


January 26 is a polarising date. To help shape a respectful way to respond to 26 January moving forward, Maribyrnong City Council (Council) wanted to better understand diverse communities’ views around the date. Capire worked with Council to seek community feedback which would help guide them on how they should respond.

As well as reaching out to the broader community, it was particularly important to have authentic conversations with local First Nations Peoples and traditional owner groups as well as culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) who may embrace the citizenship ceremony normally held in the municipality on this day.

The purpose of the engagement was to:

  • understand participant’s thoughts on how to respond to 26 January
  • understand what 26 January meant to participants and explore ideas for how it could be acknowledged and recognised
  • identify ways that participants would like to be engaged in the discussion in the future.

Council undertook broad community engagement via an online survey. Capire reviewed the content for how to sensitively introduce the project. Postcards were delivered to 38,000 letterboxes to promote engagement.

Capire then worked closely with Council, to design and deliver a tailored engagement program with traditional owner groups via briefings with Councillors and focused discussions with CALD communities and First Nations Peoples.

The engagement sessions included icebreakers, a presentation and facilitated group discussions guided by four questions:

  • What does 26 January mean to you?
  • How important is it to hold a citizenship ceremony on this day?
  • Do you believe Council should take any actions to acknowledge the experience of First Nations People on ‘Australia Day’, 26 January? If so, how?
  • Do you have any views on how this day should be acknowledged in the future?

Council will be using the findings to make decisions about the future of January 26 and will use the results to develop further engagement opportunities in the future.

  • Client
    City of Maribyrnong
  • Year Completed
  • Location