Whilst Australia Day is a celebratory day, it isn't for some. It marks the day a careful and environmentally conscious people who occupied the land for (there is some argument about how long) perhaps 2000 years were subjugated without treaty, without respect and without acknowledgment.
Since 1930 the indigenous population of Australia have seen the 26th January as "Invasion Day". Indeed, the British Empire's reluctance to recognise indigenous inhabitants was obvious and an attitude that prevailed until the 60's when indigenous Australians were granted the vote. Some believe that May 27 should be the new Australia Day . . The day in 1967 when a national referendum, saw 90.77 per cent of Australians - the biggest majority in a national referendum - vote to enable Aboriginal people to be counted in the census and to be subject to Commonwealth laws, rather than just state laws. Works for me although there's a surfeit of public holidays between June and October . . .a day off in perhaps August would be nice!
David Carment, a professor of history, from the NT, says the date for Australia Day commemorates the first European settlement of the nation. He says that alienates many indigenous Australians who feel it was the start of an invasion. He has a point and since we are moving towards 'reconciliation' with our indigenous population, moving the date to something more appropriate such as the date of Federation
On 1st January 1901 the separate colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania would be united and known as the 'Commonwealth of Australia'. In August 1901 Western Australia joined the Federation the first of it's kind to be declared without a Civil War. Although I can't see having Australia Day on New Year's Day will wash with the general populous who would be jipped out of yet another public holiday Monday, should the date be changed.
This year's Australian of the year is prominent indigenous activist, labour party stalwart and aboriginal rights campaigner Professor Mick Dodson, thankfully not a sportsperson or a country and western singer. He is a respected member of the aboriginal community (although many of his number see the accolade as a token gesture and claim there are others more worthy of the title. - there's no pleasing everyone!)
Prof. Dodson wants a change of date, a more suitable and inclusive celebration and given the behavior of some idiots with a nationalistic bent on Australia Day who poured through Manly walking over cars, intimidating shopkeepers and tourists and shouting racist slogans, I'd be happy to move from the white ratbaggery of the 26th January. It's become quite jingoistic and given license to idiots to brandish the flag like a temporary tattoo and persecute new Australians with "Go home - We're Fucking Full" slogans. Outrageous and embarrassing.
I'm actually warming to the idea . . .It seems more fitting in a multi cultural society to celebrate our unity rather than the lobbing of a prison hulk into Botany Bay . . . We can't rewrite history . .we were a convict colony, we are a member of the British Commonwealth but it's probably time that we forged our own identity. The Americans celebrate the 4th of July as 'Independence Day', the French their freedom from monarchical oppression in 'Bastille Day' . . .so why not? Our fearless leader has emphatically refused even the slightest discussion on the subject.
Why not move Australia Day to include all Australians and celebrate our unity despite diversity . .or am I being too politically correct? Perhaps when we become a Republic, we'll adopt that day as our national day . . .*dreams on*
I'm sorry, but why don't you fuck off . .you're an embarrassment! Teenage hoons on Manly Corso, picking on Sikh, Eastern European and Asian shopkeepers and harassing tourists . . . my kids dressed in their Aussie garb and went to a Triple J Hottest 100 party . . . proud, happy and peaceful! Where are these kids' parents?