What happened when I wore my values on Jan 26?

What happened when I wore my values on Jan 26?

It's especially important on days like "Australia Day" that we wear our values because it sends a strong message to others about where you stand on this day. It also opens you up to conversations about the Jan 26 public holiday and the true history of this country.

We asked our community of supporters (Mob and allies) to share about the conversations they had today because they wore merch with a message with us.  No matter how small or how big the yarn is, we would love to hear it - click here to share with us.

We've already heard stories that give us hope, disappoint and shock us.  We are learning more about the impact that political fashion is having in creating conversations, social change and shifting attitudes. We always knew it but, your stories are bringing a whole other level of awareness. 

This is what we wanted to hear more about...

What happened when you wore your tee on Jan 26? What conversation did your tee spark? How did it make it feel?

Here are some of the anonymous responses thus far.  Please note some of this content is hateful and racist and may be triggering. 

"I wore my t-shirt out and about and I noticed some whispers in my direction mostly from older generations, but I still felt proud in it, and seeing protests and others sharing theirs online shows attitudes are changing" (Non-Indigenous female, metropolitan city, WA).

"What happened when we wore our values- I’m a Gamilaraay woman on Birpai land. I swear it is the whitest place . We went shopping me in my 'not a date to celebrate' tee and my wife in 'always was always will be'. We counted 8 side eyes, 12 shaking heads, 13 double takes to read it, two waving Australian flags at us, one advance Australia fair being sung, a you’re not even Aboriginal from a white man. Someone telling me they are 5th generation and have every right to celebrate, being called a shit stirrer while paying for groceries, a mother saying no the real Australia flag is blue white and red and a tsk tsk. I was so fucking proud in that 25 minutes in settlement city Port Macquarie. It's a heavy day on our spirit." (Aboriginal, female, larger regional town, NSW).

"I wore my ‘always was always will be’ t-shirt and was around my uncle who I know is racist (we have had many arguments in the past) and has very opposing views and values to my own. He asked me what my top means. Before even letting me speak and explain to him it’s meaning, he started ranting at me and getting visibly angry at me without even letting me get a word in. I have really been trying to change the way I go into interactions like this and so instead of automatically arguing back I let him talk and once he finished I started to explain. He didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say and told me it was all bullshit and the country was never invaded or colonised and the stolen generations never happened. He also said other really disrespectful and racist things about the Indigenous community and culture. He wanted to know why I even care or why I feel the need to talk about it. I explained that as an ally I speak up because not only do I believe in working to create a better future and create change, but that for centuries Indigenous people have not been given a voice or when they do speak up they are often not listened to and are overlooked and that as a white person I have a position of privilege to amplify their voices. I rebutted his arguments as best I could, explaining that I get my information from Indigenous sources, reading and listening to Indigenous perspectives and also studied it at uni. I kept my calm even though it was difficult and even though they are difficult conversations to have doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have them. Because I am really trying to believe that people can change and that there is hope for change in our very racist country. And to do so I need to be able to stand strong in my values and be able to talk about it rather than only wear it." (Non-Indigenous female, metropolitan city, Victoria).


Photo: Always Was Always Will Be tee

"I always make a point of wearing my Always Was tee on Jan 26 - which this year meant wearing it to work at a busy bookstore. Turned up for my shift to find one, then two, then three … four … five of my colleagues wearing theirs. (Our ages range from teens to sixties) We all felt great about sharing our values, and wearing our values, with each other and our customers. I directed several to your Sydney road store - they were keen to get one of their own."Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"We went to Yabun which was awesome, super hot, on the way home during the long walk from the bus we popped into the local pub to see if they sold ice blocks for our small kids and a bunch very drunk men in their Australian flag themed clothing saw our ‘always way, always will be’ shirt and said ‘never was, never will be’ and a bunch of other disgusting stuff. This is in the inner west of Sydney. Shame on them." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, NSW).

"I’ve been saving my Blackfulla 🤝 Palestinians shirt for today that was given to me by WAR. I’ve genuinely (and thoroughly) enjoyed the guilt, awkwardness and discomfort in the faces of white “Australia” not taking part in today’s protest as they walk past. It’s nice to see the guilt on their faces, as they feel like a voiceless and scared minority, for once." (Indigenous from outside Australia, male, metropolitan city, Victoria).

"I live in Brunswick and have been running errands almost all day. The local businesses in Brunswick seem to be quite ally-focussed; one cafe I popped into had a First Nations play list going; no-ones displaying tacking Australia Day merch in their windows etc. I've been wearing my white "Not a date to celebrate" shirt for the past few weeks, including today, and it's the double takes, the staring a bit longer, the processing of what the slogan on the shirt means. It's almost like underlying, covert judgement maybe? I haven’t had anyone come up to me and either A) confront me for my views or support of First Nations or B) even say "nice shirt". It's like we're all just not talking about it. I'll continue to rep this and other CTG merchandise this weekend." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"Wore my 'not the date' shirt to host a queer meetup in a local pub. Positive reception from the other attendees but lots of double takes and dirty looks from the general population on the way there. It’s not a complete surprise in this town and it’s absolutely worth the social discomfort to wear my values until this place isn’t so racist." (Non-Indigenous, non-binary, larger regional town, WA).

“Was working on Invasion day and wore my CTG top that said, 'Always was always will be'. After serving the customer, they condescendingly said happy Australia Day and Happy Invasion Day and laughed in my face.” (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"I was nervously asked by my partner to take my ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ tee off before her parents came over so that it didn’t stir up any difficult conversations." (Non-Indiegnous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"My parents warned me to be careful leaving the house in my always was always will be shirt. "Be careful, you know the area you work in". I definitely got some looks from people celebrating today, but i made some friends saying "I love the shirt" and some hand shakes today. My mate and I had matching shirts and slayed." (Non-Indigenous, trans male, metropolitan city, WA).

"I had random conversations with people as I walked through the park on my way to the rally. Every conversation was positive. People were either interested and wanted to know more or they were already supporting the movement." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"I felt shamed. My own family thinks I’m brainwashed for voicing my opinion about Aboriginal Affairs. This day has always been shit for me, knowing it’s the day they built a JAIL on our land, to put us in it. The colony is fighting back more and more after the referendum, it’s like they’re getting really bold about being racists. Wearing my values on my clothing is something I do year-round but I specifically bought a “Not a date to celebrate” tee this year for Invasion Day. Interaction on social media always triggers my defensive side. My Granny’s very English brother decided it would be cool to call me brainwashed for stating the reason why this date needs to be changed. He proceeded to state that taxpayers are always supporting Aboriginal people since they never pay tax. I work, my sister works, my aunties, and uncles work, do we not pay tax? Of course, we do. I had to deactivate my Facebook because he made me WILD. Just so over racist Australia." (Aboriginal, female, metropolitan city, SA).

"I posted a proud collection of photos of my children and I painted in Ocre and Marching at our local Survival Day March. My post captioned ‘Survival Day’ with us proudly dressed recieved a comment from a non indigenous family member who doesn’t live in my community; questioning me - “what exactly are you surviving.” This question alone felt like this family member didn’t value my experiences as an Aboriginal Woman. I have a heartbreaking and triumphant story which this family member is fully aware of but to publicly question me online, hurt. I’m strong because my ancestors were strong!" (Aboriginal, female, small/remote town, NSW).

"I opened my shop on January 26. Most customers were surprised, and I simply said that it’s not a day to celebrate. I wore my CTG always was crop and put my CTG welcome sign in my shop window." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, NSW).

"I wore my ‘always was always will be’ t-shirt to Sovereign Hill. The waitress told me she loved my t-shirt as she sat us at our table for lunch. When she came back to get our order she said ‘It has made me SO happy to see you wearing that, because this place is essentially a celebration of colonialism and days like today are hard as a First Nations person.’ (And she was right, there’s barely a mention of First Nations peoples in the main part of SH. I’ve just come back from the AURA night show and it contains lots of content, so that’s a start, but there’s a long way to go.)" (Non-Indigenous, female, remote/small town, VIC).

"I am a Indigenous young Maori New Zealand mother who has lived here in Melbourne for coming up 7 years. My partner & I, along with our 2 young boys applied for Australian citizenship last year when the process was made easier for kiwis. We got email last month that we would have our citizenship ceremony on January 26th. I had mixed feelings of why the heck did they make it on this day? We try to attend a protest normally on this day. We ended up going to the ceremony dressed in our Clothing The Gaps 'Always was, Always will be' T-shirts and also clothing and Taonga (tresures) representing our home lands. Walking in with thoughts of our Aboriginal brothers & sisters in mind we were then faced with a lady at reception telling us we must take our shirts off or turn them inside out or we wont be able to continue the citizenship process! We asked why? As we come in peace. Their response was ‘this is not suppose to be political’ I replied ‘you are the only person making it political’ we ended up changing our shirts however we hid our son who was wearing one and let him run a muck with his shirt on. I have never felt so embarrassed and singled out in my life! What was worse was other people were covered in the Australian flag and never once got told to change their clothing! We also got photos with the council Mayor who loved our sons shirt to which I told him our story! Once we seen that people had Australian flag shirts on we decided to change our shirts back and go inside again and get our photos again! (Happy to share). It has sparked a massive flame in my belly to support our Aboriginal brothers & sisters even more!" (Indigenous from outside Australia, female, metropolitan city, VIC).


"A man came into my workplace with the Australian flag tied around his shoulders singing “I am, we are Australia”. He saw me and asked, “why are you wearing that c**n shirt?” and then proceeded to say “I bet you were down there at 5am this morning with them all” (there was a truth telling event held at sunrise by Wathaurong people) - to which I said I was. I felt extremely disappointed and saddened at his blatant racism and his intimidating behaviour towards me." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"I was wearing my Sovereign shirt. I had just paid for some food at the Beechworth Bakery and went to grab a pack of bickies I had paid for. When I turned around, I saw that on a table full of white middle aged or older people, 3 or of 4 of them were staring at me. Even when I made eye contact with them, they didn't stop. I smiled, they didn't look away or change their expression at all. The EXACT same thing happened when we went to Billsons and sat down near a table full of white fullas. On a table of about 6, 3 or 4 of them were staring at us at the same time. It was infuriating, because it told me that people have only become more bold with their microaggressions and antisocial behaviours towards us. They should be ashamed, but they are bold and unflinching. That is not okay." (Aboriginal, female, larger regional town, VIC).

Photo: Clothing The Gaps Mob Only Sovereign Tee

"I wear my ‘Abolish the date’ tee every year and post to my Instagram story. My uncle saw it and posted his own story saying ‘Abolish stupidity’. I was so upset because 1. I feel so deeply about this day and 2. All my relatives would see his ‘comeback’ directed at me. Calling me stupid made me so upset to say the least. I cried and ended up having to block my uncle. I don’t identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and I thought, if I’m this upset, I can’t even fathom how mob would feel and the hate they would get."  (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"I was working in a food truck at the Australian open. The day before, they told us they were gonna be on live TV celebrating their aussie meat pies, so I came prepared in my colours. After the CEO saw me being filmed they immediately said 'get her out of there.' I was fired on the spot and spent the rest of my day at the rally at Flinders St Station listening to speeches which was a much better use of my time." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, NSW).

"My story is about my husband. I brought him a Clothing the Gaps shirt and it is the first time he has done something like this. Him and his family usually "celebrate" 'Australia Day’, and this was the first year where I asked them not to. The family were annoyed about his shirt and said, "not you too", implying he was turning into me. He spent time talking to his brother who was very sceptical about the shirt about why he wears it and how he can love the country and celebrate whilst also acknowledging and respecting First Nations people. Though the message may not have been fully received it was an important conversation starter and undoubtedly will lead to more. We later went for a walk in the park and an elderly man on his mobility scooter scoffed as he went past us. He had his scooter decked out in colonial flags and was clearly very "passionate" about the day. Though we weren’t able to talk to him, my husband wished he could because that type of animosity should not be our societal norm." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

This horrible incident happened on a tram in Narrm (Melbourne) on 26/1/2024 whilst Olive was on the way to the rally - it was captured on filmed and shared on her TikTok. 

@olivesnell Happy “Australia Day” from this dumb dog ! 🖤💛❤️ This man, approached me and my 2 friends on a tram completely unprompted. My shirt read “just a reminder, we don't celebrate genocide”. Apparently he has an issue with that. Saying, “Why would you wear such a provocative t-shirt?” and “There’s never been genocide in this country” followed by this exchange filmed by my friend. Its hard to know what to say sometimes. This video is for all those who think that racism doesn't exist in this country. #alwayswasalwayswillbeaboriginalland ♬ original sound - olive 🫒 (Aboriginal, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

Photo: Click link above to see this incident unfold and this man's reaction to a political tee.


"I am a reformer instructor, and I was umming and ahhing as to whether or not it would be received well if I wore my CTG jumper. I decided to F it and wear the jumper because the colonial practices that persist today are much more invasive than one person wearing her values! Only two people noticed, one lady who said, “I love your jumper - you’re now my favourite instructor” and another who was wearing the same jumper!! and when she took it off had a t-shirt on with her values which I praised her for. A very uniting experience🥰.”  (Non-indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"I stood in front of my mirror and replayed negative conversations that I've experienced in the past, and thought about every comment that people might say to me. Being non-Indigenous I also stressed that wearing a CTG shirt on Jan 26th might actually be insensitive. Ultimately I changed shirts and I felt sad about that, because I wanted to wear it but was too scared of confrontation." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"When I wore my 'always was always will be' jumper to my workplace. I spoke with my boss about my opinion and values surrounding “Australia Day” and was met with a series of arguments and dismissal of my personal experience being a First Nations person. My firsthand experiences I spoke of were met with rebuttals and racism. I left the conversation not feeling black enough as I am a fair skin First Nations person. I left feeling invalidated and dismissed about my feelings and experiences and questioning my whole identity." (Aboriginal, female, larger regional town, SA).

"I wore your ‘not a date to celebrate’ shirt. Talking to my parents about it, they thought it was a great way to express my opinion on the issue. This made me feel so hopeful, because once upon a time they didn’t understand how important it is to learn about the experiences and perspectives of our First Nations peoples. When I mentioned my shirt in front of my mother-in-law, though, she said (annoyed), “Well what date do YOU suggest?” She’s not so open to learning about what our history means for First Nations people, or willing to acknowledge that it continues to affect them. It just got me thinking - why are people SO unwilling to explore this issue? Is it guilt? Fear? Or fear of feeling guilty? My parents and my in-laws are very similar in terms of their upbringing, political views, work life and lifestyle. So why is it that my parents are open to learning, why my in-laws stand so firm in what they think they know? I feel both despairing and hopeful. Today I’ll choose hope, because while I sit out of Australia Day celebrations, I believe that one day the date will change for everyone. I look forward to it." (Non-Indigenous female, larger regional town, NSW).

Photo: Not a date to celebrate tee

"I was at my kids’ basketball tournament and a woman started yelling at me from the other side of the court. I initially thought she was upset and then I realised she was yelling out that I had an awesome shirt on. The shirt was Clothing The Gaps 'Not a date to celebrate' tee. What a legend." (Non-Indigenous female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"A person I didn’t know approached my personal space and said 'seriously, you people are still advertising this, get over it already it’s 2024' they said." (Aboriginal, female, metropolitan city, QLD).

"I wore my “not a day to celebrate” t-shirt to a cafe who was donating money for each coffee sold to a First Nations foundation for my morning coffee with a friend and my parents. I got a lot of looks, but positive looks (assuming) as the buzz in the cafe was filled with a lot of people wearing t-shirts from CTG, including all staff and a shared experience in not celebrating the date. I felt very comfortable here, filled with like-minded people and First Nations music blasting on the speakers. I sparked conversation with my parents and friend about the day, which we all agree is a day of mourning for First Nations people, a day to not celebrate at all but have different views on the topic and the approach to the date and either changing it after establishing treaty and becoming republic or just abolishing any date at all. This was a very positive and constructive experience. Contrarily, I also wore my t-shirt to a local store to get a smoothie later and got looks, these seemed different. I heard quiet whispers and judgemental eyes on me as this was near a beach, full of people celebrating and enjoying their day off. It really goes to show it depends where you are, who you’re with and what the value of the whole area, company etc lays." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, SA).

“My mum told me to be careful as I left for work this morning wearing my CTG ‘always was always will be’ tee. She tells me to be careful while she still celebrates Invasion day, as if she is conscious of the hateful ideals and personalities of people who still celebrate while also deciding to join them. Warning me about those that she allies with…so very unnerving”. (Non-Indigenous, non-binary, larger regional town, NSW).

“I felt powerful, standing up for my Mob and my culture. But during the march I encounter a racist man who told me “fuck off to Palestine and die with the rest of them”. (Aboriginal, female, metropolitan city, QLD).

“Wandering through the laneways of Naarm after the rally it was smiles and nods as I passed people wearing their pride”. (Non-Indigenous, male, metropolitan city, VIC).

“Got smiles from young Muslim women as I walked 7km bay run in inner west Sydney on morning of Jan 26”. (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, NSW).

“So disappointed in older family members. People who are generally ok and I would assume to have morals just spewed so much hate speech towards me and Indigenous Australians all because they believe in a day that has very little meaning to them. Most of them didn’t even celebrate the day when they were kids.” (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, QLD).

"This happened last year, 2023. I live in Footscray and was heading to the rally in the CBD. I was wearing, as I often do, my Black Flag t-shirt from Bananalands as I walked along Paisley Street with my earphones in. I noticed that a man out the front of one of the shops was acting aggressively, so took one earphone out. He was ranting at me about “your kind” and the white race and Adolf Hitler and he performed a Nazi salute at me. I was shaken. I kept walking to the station and caught the train to the rally. Despite feeling the community spirit, it clearly affected my stamina - I found myself less comfortable than usual, and was upset by the entire experience. It has, however, not stopped me from continuing to wear my values. I proudly wear the same design pin on my work shirt every day, and it has helped me make connections with mob that I might not have otherwise. Fuck Nazis, Fuck “Australia” Day." (Non-binary, Aboriginal, metropolitan city, VIC).

“Wore my 'Not A Date To Celebrate' T-shirt and got called an “entitled c*nt” walking around Naarm after rally”. (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC). 

Photo: Not a date to celebrate crop tee

"I chose to work in the office Jan 26 and swapped the public holiday - there weren’t many of us in the office but I managed to connect with a colleague that I’ve not had any interaction with, as we were both wearing CTG shirts. I ended up heading down to the rally with her at lunch time, and am so glad I proudly wore my values!". (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

"I offended a man with my shirt and my honouring country poster. That was alright as I wasn’t at all concerned about his feelings, he didn’t want to engage in a healthy conversation or have a learning experience so I left him to stay mad. He then called my workplace to speak with the manager, again that was alright my team heard his concerns and passed the phone to me to take his complaint. He made complaint to me ‘the manager’ about me. We have filed his complaint in the paper shredder where it belongs." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"We wore our shirts down to the local pub/restaurant on 25 Jan and we bumped into another customer in a Clothing the Gaps tee. He pointed us out to a Ngunnawal Elder who was there too and he smiled so widely to see us. He slapped my partner on the back as he passed and said 'revolutionary'. I wish we'd said that wearing our shirts is no where near enough, but at the same time, it was cool to know that he knew we were allies and stood with him and that's a pretty good reason to wear Clothing The Gaps stuff!" (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, ACT).

"My mum dressed my 2yo in her always was always will be shirt and they walked around town all morning doing errands. Hilarious because I strongly doubt that she (mum) nor anybody else that saw my daughters shirt even knew what they were looking at." (Non-Indigenous, female, remote/small town, WA).

"Wore my Always Was Always Will Be T, and saw other people in my shirt (👍) and saw LOTS of people in other CTG Ts and wearing CTG badges. Great feeling of solidarity seeing other people wearing their values. Knowing that like me, they are all over this city, this country." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, NSW).

"This was my first rally, I was honestly nervous I usually have some social anxiety. Walking through the crowd I could see so many others around me wearing their values as well which really made me reflect on how important it was that I was there and I do show up and fight alongside and for First Nations people." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, TAS).

"I wore my values in Meanjin on Jan 26 and everywhere I went, another person was wearing their values. Wether they were Blak or not, they made me feel seen and supported on such a scary day for us mob." (Aboriginal, male, metropolitan city, QLD).

"I was in the supermarket and heaps of people aggressively yelled ‘Happy AUSTRALIA day’, and a man followed me to my car yelling abuse at me before spitting at my car." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"You Aboriginal? Asks a white bloke as I walk down the road. No. Oh. That’s a good shirt you are wearing. Yep. What do you call today? Australia Day or Invasion Day? I call it January 26. Oh. Reckon we should change it? I mean, would you celebrate Australia Day another time? Yes. If it acknowledged our Black History and we found a less offensive day to do it. Yeah. This whole Voice thing has definitely made me think about being Australian. Good on you for wearing that shirt. I wear my Always Was Always Will Be shirt to generate conversations. Not just today but any day." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, WA).

"I usually attend Share The Spirit festival with my family and get dirty look then feel really safe at the rally an event. This year was different as my son had a basketball tournament in Bendigo and I of course wore my Always was, always will be GTC tee. Knowing I would get more dirty looks than compliments. So I was prepared. That in its self upset me, quite frankly I’m still really upset from the recent referendum outcome. So I had a chat to my husband and 2 sons about this, we all spoke about the reasons why we do not celebrate and what land we are on and were travelling to. I explained that no matter how many people give me a dirty look or say something hurtful I don’t care it means more for me to follow my values, then and my 8 old son told me stand tall and continue to be a deadly ally. This made is so happy as I want my boys to know that no matter stand tall, honour your values, learn, listen and evolve.for me it is so important my family know the real history of Australia and if celebrating dates like today can harm and hurts others then it’s so important we listen and change to not create further harm. This year I feel grateful to focus on this moment and my families values than focus on the ugly comments and online insults because of the pride I have in wearing my values. So that is why this story I feel is bittersweet." (Non-Indigenous, female, larger regional town, VIC).

"My mum is visiting. Today, we were getting ready to visit an art exhibition in the city. I wore my Blak Luv tank. My mum walked up to me and touched the heart embroidery. I said "Yes. I am wearing this today." She responded "I was just going to say how beautiful this is" 🖤💛❤️ (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, SA).

"I wore 'no pride in genocide' today. It started a conversation about the relevance/hurt caused by statues of Captain Cook with my mum. I've been having ongoing conversations about colonisation with my former right-wing parents for a few years now. These started off as arguments, but have become respectful discussions that have really changed and challenged them to learn more about the true history and culture of First Nations People. Both my parents even voted 'Yes' in this year's referendum. I wanted to encourage other allys to keep on challenging and sharing resources with those close to us that will listen (or even argue)." (Non-Indigenous female, metropolitan city, NSW).

No Pride in Genocide Clothing The Gaps

Photo: No Pride in Genocide Tee

“I’m from Brisbane and my mum lives and works in Laos. I'm visiting my mum in Luang Prabang, Laos, and today we went to a traditional Katu weaving lesson. I was wearing my CTG 'Always Was Always Will Be' t-shirt, and the ladies teaching the class loved it! They asked what it meant and I explained how today is the anniversary of the British colonising Australia and the disgraceful atrocities that followed. The ladies were very upset to hear this and they cried. Laos was colonised by the French, however, they only introduced schools and roads etc., no genocide or violence. They were so very sad and shocked to hear what happened, and what is still happening to the Indigenous people of Australia, and they asked me to buy them each an 'Always Was Always Will Be' CTG shirt. Was nice to share the real history of Australia and mourn with people from another land. The ladies, Doi and Mon agree - it’s time we change the date, there’s no pride in genocide. They couldn’t believe people celebrate and party on a day like today." (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, QLD).

"I was catching the train into the City to go to "Share the Spirit" with a friend. Last year I received a lot of negativity from people on the train as I was heading in (and also on other occasions I have worn my shirts), but this year was different. The platform was filled with like minded people, who were also wearing their values. I had several people also ask about my earrings (from Haus of Dizzy). I am proud to be an Ally, and I felt more confident this year than last, and will feel more confident wearing my values going forward. I also felt positive as I walked about the CBD today, that there was an increased visual presence of people supporting Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island People. Thank you for helping me be an Ally."  (Non-Indigenous, female, metropolitan city, VIC).

Thanks for trusting us with your stories.

There is already so much to reflect on and we will go deeper at another time but for now, to the Mob we know it's a tough time. This blog by Caroline Kell, Mbarbrum woman and qualified Counsellor offers some tips to survive Invasion Day.

To the non-Indigenous community of supporters keep wearing your values everyday - it lets Mob know that they are seen and heard. Our spaces feel safer when we can see that there are other people in Community that care about First Nations people and causes. 

Yours in the struggle, CTG Fam x

If you want to share - click here to access the survey it will be open until the Feb 4, 2024 or you can leave a comment below.

As always, please remember that there is support out there when you need it 24 hours 7 days a week you can call: 


  • Anonymous

    I felt stronger than ever wearing the ‘not a date to celebrate’ tshirt I was given by my sister. The rally in Naarm was powerful and things said by speakers were great. I proudly thought to myself no one can judge me for wearing this because my grandfather died in war fighting for people’s freedom – and he fought for every person’s freedom – but not at the expense of anyone – he believed that as long as anyone is oppressed we are all oppressed. So I felt in solidarity with a lot of people in Naarm and that no one had a right to tell me otherwise. I started to see those bearing Australian flags anywhere as either ignorant or un-empathetic and hoping it was becoming less common. Thanks for your strength Clothing The Gaps and Mob.

  • Anonymous

    I went to work (we weren’t even open)
    When I got home, I noticed a friend who I’ve known for 30 years had a photo of a car with Australian flags all over it, saying “nothing better” I just replied saying yuck. Well the conversation went on & I was just explaining how I feel about the day & how I don’t like the feeling of celebrating on the day because it’s literally a day of mourning. Her husband enters the chat I was called rude & told various things. He then called me to have a go at me.
    That friendship is now over.

  • Deedah

    I was asked “well what day would you change the date to?”
    I answered with a question… “what date did captain cook die?”

    I later googled the date of cookys death
    Feb 14
    I actually think that’s a good day
    Get the day off to celebrate love of this beautiful country and our significant others!…and never be late to valentines dinner on account of work
    Win win

  • Chloe

    I got the city loop train from Footscray station platform 1 at 10am today. Many people on the platform were wearing their conversation starters, CTG, gammin threads, haus of dizzy and lots of land back, always was, no pride apparel!
    The train announcer over the speaker did the usual announcement, however he ended with “remember folks, today is Australia Day, not Invasion Day!”.
    I have sent Metro a complaint via their customer feedback form, shared with friends, on socials and encourage others to do the same.
    I wonder if metro align their morals, ethics and policies with this employee. Or if he will be reprimanded for misrepresenting their values.
    This to me was a clear abuse of position and power.

    On a more positive note, I wore my limited edition Nicky Winmar top and received many compliments as well as seeing some awesome apparel that I’ve added to my shopping list.

  • Cloudina

    Today as I was paying for my parking after the march and rally, I was hot and sweaty. Kids were waiting in the car. A fly flew around my head and I was swatted it away. Just the once. The guy behind me told me to stop. I ignored him but he continued by saying “how would you like it if I did that to you?”. I again ignored him. Then he said “how would you like it if I killed you like that?”. As I walked back to the car he kept saying the same stuff over and over. I got fed up and told him to f*ck off. He then went off which led to a pretty heated exchange between us. He kept calling me an inbred fat dyke over and over. I retaliated and called him a bad name. He got even angrier and I started to get scared. It was awful and I realised I should have just shut up when he was right behind me telling me off about the fly. It left a sick feeling in my stomach as my kids witnessed it. They thought he was crazy and kept saying “what was his problem about the fly?” My son was comforting me once I got in the car as I was shaking. There were other people in the car park but no one intervened or said anything. I took a photo of his car and debated making a complaint to the police but I just wanted to get everyone home. I’m choosing to focus on the love and solidarity I saw today. But I can’t help replaying it all over in my mind again and again and I keep asking myself the same question… was it really about the fly?

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