The first Survival Day concert was held in Sydney in 1992. The concert was staged as a counter to Australia Day to emphasise Indigenous Australia’s cultural survival and resilience. Over the following years, many more concerts have been held at various locations including La Perouse, Bondi and Redfern. These free open-air concerts feature Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal entertainers, musicians and artists.
The annual Yabun Festival was started by Gadigal Information Service in 2003. Gadigal is a Sydney-based media company focused on Indigenous affairs and promoting Indigenous performers and musicians. It has continued the tradition of Aboriginal ‘Survival Day’ gatherings.
Sydney's annual gathering is now held in Victoria Park, Camperdown and it is an important family-oriented event for Aboriginal people in Sydney. Various information stalls are also set-up to promote public services, artists and business.
The Library recently acquired a collection of photographs by Jamie James, which includes images of some of the various Sydney Survival Day gatherings held between 1996 - 2012. James is a non-Indigenous photographer who has worked in Sydney since the early 1990s documenting the Indigenous community. She has specialised in photography for health and education campaigns, portraiture, live performances, sporting and cultural events, and LGBT community events. Since 1996 she has been a regular contributor to the Koori Mail newspaper, covering many significant Indigenous events. Below is a selection of James' images that have recently been added to the Library's collection.
Ronald Briggs, Librarian and Curator