Shrouded in Controversy

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Or apparently not.

Today I bask at home in the glory of a 3 day weekend. Although, I’m not having a BBQ which is pretty much tradition for Australia Day but oh well.

Today (ok, yesterday) the Australian of the Year was announced for 2009 and Aboriginal Rights Leader Mick Dodson has been deemed worthy.

I caught an interview with Mick today and his feelings on a ‘national chat’ to determine if January 26 is the right day for Australia Day… inwardly I groaned and thought ‘who cares when it is? Really…?”. The answer is apparently that a lot of people care and have cared for many a year.

I feel like maybe I should have been paying more attention in previous years because apparently there’s been protests and everything but here I am in lala land sweetly oblivious.

Why should the day be changed? Well, 26 1788 was when the first fleeted landed in Australia and to many indigenous people this is considered ‘Invasion Day’ and they don’t see any reason to celebrate.

I have to admit that sometimes I get sick of hearing about the rights indigenous people deserve as the first australians. Then there’s the Stolen Generation and land rights etc. I feel bad it happened but it’s done now, the governments at the time thought they were doing the right thing, they’ve acknowledged they weren’t and that’s that. It’s done, there’s no going back. I feel as though indigenous people should be trying to integrate themselves more with society rather than increasing the gap between aboriginal australians and ‘white’ Australians.

Anyway… swing back on track ๐Ÿ˜€ I looked up the history on Australia Day today and found that it’s always been controversial and there has always been debate on the date chosen and wondered to myself that maybe 26 January is the wrong date. But for me it’s not because of invasion day but more because Australia was not the nation it is now back on that day in 1788. Perhaps it should be changed to Federation Day? (although that is New Years Day and well… I don’t want to lose a public holiday lol) For me though, I think maybe Constitution Day should be the new ‘Australia Day’ because it was when Australia really was recognised as it’s own entity and allowed to govern itself.

Although, when it comes down to it… I don’t much care. If people want to celebrate the country they live in they can do that any day they like. Unfortunately, the people that generally choose Australia Day to do it usually make it race related and push our progress back each year.

So, what is the answer then? *shrug* Beats me.

5 comments

  1. Kaylee says:

    "I feel as though indigenous people should be trying to integrate themselves more with society rather than increasing the gap between aboriginal australians and ‘white’ Australians."

    I always feel the same way… Then I worry that there's something in the picture I'm missing. It just seems weird for a country to do so much to separate it's people ๐Ÿ˜

    I love Canada Day (July 1st) and luckily, there isn't any known controversy around it (as far as I know).

  2. Andrea says:

    I'm from Canada but I feel the same way about the natives as you do. Unfortunately about moving a holiday it's hard to put it so it doesn't get in the way of other holidays. But you still have to satisfy everyone (which is impossible)

  3. Imdolien says:

    Really, wow, I didn't know there was such a controversy over Australia Day (well to be honest, it was more of an assumption that each country has it's national holiday, not so much me actually knowing anything about it)

    I can kind of sympathize with the views of indigenous people, but sometimes it gets a bit confusing. Because you can't undo history, and there's a limit to how much throwing money at people will help. I know that we have similar issues with the First Nations in Canada, and since a lot of them live below the poverty line and deal with issues that the average Canadian doesn't, it seems to make sense. When it comes to government assistance. I'm not so sure about the whole land thing and stuff. It's a bit over my head.

    But like you said, to most people it doesn't matter when it is as long as you GET that civic holiday! Lol, I think in Canada we're going for one a month, we just added "Family Day", lol, which still makes me laugh. What does it say about a country who have to legally set aside a day for Family? Lmao.

  4. Deanna says:

    I think it's silly that people want to change a date of something that has been celebrated for so long. I would be like, what's the point, if they wanted to change the date of Canada day.

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