January 26 is a public holiday for most Canberrans but for Indigenous Australians, it's a day of mourning and, ultimately, survival.
Uncle Mulla of the Aboriginal protest motorcycle group Black Death Australia said it was wonderful to see Canberra's Invasion Day rally grow so large in his fourth year attending.
The protest saw a large crowd gather on the front doorstep of Parliament House on Tuesday morning.
Uncle Mulla said it was important to keep showing up on January 26 to remind Australia it was not a joyous day for First Nations people.
"We're still in mourning for the invasion that happened in 1778," Uncle Mulla said.
"It's no day of celebration for us, you know, for anyone really, this is a day of murder, rape, pillage everything like that.
"[But] this is really wonderful, black and white together, and so it should be."
Justine Brown gave an impassioned speech during the rally, calling on the politicians who work within Parliament to start paying attention.
She was proud that so many non-Indigenous people were taking notice and showing up, but it was now up to those in positions of power to follow suit.
"Our non-Indigenous brothers and sisters are having those conversations with us and having a deeper understanding as to why we come here, and why we chant, what we chant, and why we have speakers that speak so proudly," Ms Brown said.
It was Ms Brown's 27th year of showing up to Invasion Day protests, and she noted 2021's was one of the biggest turnouts she's ever seen in Canberra.
"It makes me feel proud. It makes me feel that my people aren't alone," Ms Brown said.
"We have allies that are willing to put their selves on the line for a cause like this. Anything could have happened today, anything, and they still came with their families and they still stood strong."
Watching the speakers from the side of the crowd was Dwayne Connors. He also wants politicians to wake up and start listening to First Nations people.
"Obviously this is Aboriginal land ... we've been here for 60,000 years, so I'm just here to help support me and my people," Mr Connors said.
"We've come together, we're stronger, our voices will be heard a lot louder. We're out here so we're not staying silent anymore."
For Leah Brideson and her family, the threat of COVID-19 transmission meant they traded in their usual trip to Yabun in Sydney for Canberra's rally.
Ms Brideson said it was important for all Australians to acknowledge that it wasn't a day the whole country could get behind.
"This day is not Australia Day for me, it's about survival of my people and about acknowledging and respecting the past," Ms Brideson said.
While she was usually in Sydney for the protest, she was heartened by the big turnout locally.
"It's quite empowering," Ms Brideson said.
"I have so many non-Aboriginal friends that come and support us, it feels so empowering that we have support behind us."
She had a simple message for the politicians who had attended official ceremonies across Lake Burley Griffin for the day: "Why aren't you here?"
Ms Brown added it was a simple first step for politicians to start recognising some of the injustices Indigenous Australians were still facing more than 200 years after the arrival of white settlers.
She invited Mr Morrison to sit down with the community at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, just a short few hundred metres from Parliament House.
"Come to the Tent Embassy and have a yarn with our elders, have a proper consultation and see what the needs are of our people," Ms Brown said.
"You can't advocate if you've never listened."