Wiradjuri man Damian Thorne has a message for the Griffith community: he wants us to move forward, together.
Mr Thorne and his family do not celebrate Australia Day with barbecues and beers, for them January 26 is a day of remembering what his people have endured and survived.
"We celebrate Survival Day because we are one of the most resilient peoples in the world. It's about celebrating our existence," Mr Thorne, an Aboriginal education officer said.
For Mr Thorne who grew up in the Three Ways mission in Griffith, changing the date of Australia Day is an important part of moving forward.
"I do support changing the date. I want everyone to know that I would like us all to move forward together as a nation, I don't want division," he said.
"We want a day we can all celebrate."
Mr Thorne's grandmother Alma Bamblett, a respected Wiradjuri elder in Griffith lived through the years of racial segregation and mistreatment that forms part of Griffith's history.
"She lived to be 93 years old and she went through everything," Mr Thorne shared.
"It's not about us separating ourselves from white people and wanting to be different, it's about that we don't want to celebrate this day as the discovery of our country. Because it wasn't found, it was stolen."Damian Thorne
Not many people know and truly understand the extent to which indigenous people were discriminated against in Griffith explained Mr Thorne. Speaking to the Area News he shared stories passed down from his grandmother of the targeted and deliberate ways in which Aboriginal people were treated as less than human.
"If my grandmother or any of her friends were caught singing any indigenous songs or speaking their language they were punished," Mr Thorne said.
"There were toilets for white people and different toilets for 'coloured' people which were just holes in the ground.
"The water they had to drink from during the day was just a broken bore water pipe out of the ground."
And for many other First Nation's people, it was worse.
The documented history of the Stolen Generation as well as massacres of Australia's indigenous people is undeniable. But what place does understanding this have for generations alive today?
Mr Thorne says it's about understanding, acknowledgement and moving forward, together.
"There are certain things that we shouldn't dwell on sure, but the major stories need to be told so that we can all understand," he said.
"It's not about us separating ourselves from white people and wanting to be different, it's about that we don't want to celebrate this day as the discovery of our country.
Because it wasn't found, it was stolen."