January 26 in Australia
26th January, 2024
We’re pausing to acknowledge that today is a tough day for many, most importantly for First Nations peoples. We stand for respect and kindness today and every day.
Our team is made up of countless voices and experiences, and together, we represent thousands of backgrounds. Our purpose is to make a positive difference in people’s lives—it binds us together and keeps us focused on doing Good. Our culture of belonging means that we’re always striving to create meaningful action for our team, our customers and in the communities where we live and work.
We were born in Geelong on Wadawurrung Country, and as we reflect on January 26, we’re supporting our people through education and personal choice and looking back on the incredible partnerships we’ve made with First Nation’s owned and led organisations.
Reconciliation Action Plan
Our Reconciliation Action Plan is an important step in working towards our purpose. We also know that just acknowledging First Nations peoples is not enough. Reconciliation for us must be authentic and underpinned by growth, connection, justice and respect. It’s a journey of many footprints, and we’re approaching that journey with curiosity, humility and heart. Click here to learn more.
For our team, this January 26, we’re promoting education to support each individual on their own journey. We believe in robust conversation underpinned by authentic relationships, respect, kindness and dignity, always.
This week, we hosted a live-streamed conversation for our Australian team featuring CEO of Common Ground and Director of First Nations Futures, Rona Glynn-McDonald. Rona is a Kaytetye woman who grew up in Mparntwe on Arrernte Country. With ties to storytelling, economics and narrative change, Rona works with First Nations organisations to shape future systems that centre First Nations people. You may also know her as her producer alias, RONA. Check out her Instagram here.
During the event, we announced a donation to First Nations Futures to support long-term investment in First Nations community-led initiatives.
This year, we were also proud to donate to Wadawurrung’s January 26 Pilk Purriyn Event and encouraged our team to come along for deep listening and reflection at sunrise.
Supporting Personal Choice
While our retail stores are operating on January 26 as normal, we are offering our Global Support Centre and Chadstone Support Centre team members the choice of when they observe the public holiday. We believe the choice is important and respect what each individual chose.
First Nations Owned and Led Partnerships
With over ten years of connection and collaboration with First Nations-owned and led organisations, Cotton On Foundation is currently committing $1 million each year to the following partners to ensure community is achieving self-determining futures.
- On Wadawurrung Country
Strong Brother, Strong Sister: a youth-run and owned First Nations organisation, that provides young people and their families with a culturally safe space to access support and connect to culture and identity.
- In the Northern Territory, on Yolŋu Country
Djalkiri Foundation, Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, Mulka Project, Community-Based Aboriginal Teacher Education (C-BATE) through a partnership with Yirrkala School and Laynhapuy Homelands School: supporting Yolŋu-led and owned organisations who enhance young people’s connection to culture and identity.
Click here to learn more about these partners.