Is the 26th January cause for celebration or mourning?
Do you see Australia Day as Invasion Day?
Check out my video response below:
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Australia Day (January 26th) marks the 1788 arrival of the first fleet of British ships to Port Jackson, NSW. Modern Australian marks the occasion through celebrations of multiculturalism, community and family events and community awards. Citizenship ceremonies initiate new immigration into Australia and the Australian community.
Australia Day has also earned an alternative name, Invasion Day. It’s a perspective that views this day as British imperialism disrupting the lives of native Australians, Aboriginals. This includes the acquisition of land, corruption of lineage and aboriginal culture, baby theft (known as the Stolen Generation), slavery, and cases of massacre and genocide.
Invasion Day has become a bigger focal point and many Australians choose not to celebrate the occasion. Invasion Day or Survival Day have been suggested as better names for the day.
The city of Fremantle in Western Australia has axed its January 26th Australia Day celebrations. It celebrates “One Day” two days later. They felt that moving away from January 26th was more culturally inclusive. However, the city will still allow people to celebrate the 26th in public.
Some Australians believe that the superficial elements of celebrating this day are fueled by either ignorance or the need to avoid the seriousness of Australian history. It should not be a time to spend partying in a night club, or going to a BBQ with a blow up pool and an endless supply of alcohol. People should not wear or wave the Australian flag. It should be a time of mourning and thoughtful reflection as to the horrific realities of white settlement.
Other see Australia Day in a similar way to Christmas. Most people do not celebrate Christmas because it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ. The day has evolved to become something else. It’s a joyful occasion where family and friends get together. Therefore, Australia Day has also evolved from its historical significance to being a day of celebrating the fact that we live in such a safe and wonderful country
It’s an opportunity to show some pride in having an Australian nationality. Those who want to feel miserable can but it shouldn’t stop others from making the day a celebration. Furthermore changing the name of the day will not make a difference to the issues Aboriginals face: unemployment, health and education.
Some common opinions that I often hear regarding Australia Day:
- The 26th January 1788 was the beginning of the Australia that we know and love today. How can that be a negative?
- If the British didn’t invade, someone else would have. The Aboriginals would have been screwed either way.
- They have land rights, what more do they want?
- Their children were taken away for their own good.
- How many times do we have to say sorry? How many times do we have to talk about it?
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd didn’t need to apologize on behalf of modern Australia. It was too long ago.
- This all happened in the past. The past is the past. I had nothing to do with it. It’s time to move on.
If we should not have an annual day to remember the atrocities committed to our indigenous people, why should have an annual day to remember Australian soldiers we lost during World War 1? Anzac Day should be cancelled and diggers and their descendants should also “move on”. Aboriginal groups are often told to “get over it and move on”.
I choose not to celebrate Australia Day. it is an Invasion Day. Australia cannot seem to accept and reconcile with the crimes that originated from its settlement. I always consider the following facts:
- Genocide of Aboriginal people.
- Abduction of Aboriginal children.
- The lack of respect and acknowledgement of Aboriginal history.
- Aboriginals were forced into work and wages were controlled by the government.
- Enslavement of Aboriginals, was still in operation 50 years ago
- Stolen land and lack of sufficient land rights.
I’m not saying people should lock themselves up in their homes and go through a “sad” process. We live in a wonderfully safe and rich county. Any Australian citizen should be feel damn lucky to be part of such a country full of opportunity and security. I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to celebrate that.
As an Australian citizen, I give thanks for that on a daily basis. I think its appropriate to have an official recongition day for our indgienous people on the 26th January. It could be officially called “Aboriginal Remembrance Day”. We can hold a general Australian celebration day on another date.
Australia can only reach a high level of maturity as a nation when it fully acknowledges the horrors of the past. Therefore, working towards making the situation better.
Check out my article on the explanation of adult males lusting after barely legal girls by clicking here