Australia Day celebrations ditched by Sydney Inner West Council

The Inner West Council has become the first in Sydney to drop Australia Day celebrations in favour of the Aboriginal Yabun festival held that day.

Mayor Darcy Byrne said on Facebook that it was “right thing to do”.

“It’s a small but respectful act of recognition,” he wrote.

A citizenship ceremony will still be held on January 26, while the citizen of the year awards and a summer festival will be held on different dates.

“Attitudes towards 26 January are changing in the community,” Byrne said in a statement.

“For Aboriginal people, the date represents the beginning of colonisation, dispossession, the removal of children and deliberate destruction of language and culture.

“A growing number of Australians want that to be respectfully acknowledged.”

The City of Wanneroo in Perth has also thrown its support behind a move away from celebrating Australia Day.

It has dropped the words “Australia Day” from promotional material advertising the Wanneroo Festival on January 26 in case it offends Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.