Australia Day Jan 26; also the end of our long summer holiday, but the actual choice of date is under severe strain. I’ve just been prowling the local beaches enhancing my skin colour the past few days, oblivious to the growing furore.
“Until we settle on an alternative date for Australia Day, Aboriginal people will always feel excluded … January 26 was invasion day, the beginning of the philosophy of terra nullius – an unoccupied Australia.” Bev Manton, chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council
There are two sides to this sort of issue:
1) The vast majority of Aboriginals are mixed blood now, not their fault or mine, but when they point the finger it must include their own forebears.
2) It does seem a big stretch to maintain the date of European settlement as an inclusive national day of celebration.
Some of us are not inclined to invest dates with any great significance, and I suspect this one is more convenience than emotional. To most Aussies it’s just another long weekend.
Most days have issues for those engaged with the day thing so I can’t even imagine a solution. In the end I’m inclined to think there are more pressing issues.