This Australia Day weekend was quieter with Australian flags appearing outside houses in our streets. There were few official celebrations in the community with COVID and Australian indigenous people seeing 26 January as a sad survival day.
I think it is important to celebrate a national day and it was interesting while travelling in India to see very happy people celebrating the Indian National Day. This was firstly celebrated on 15 August 1947 following independence from the British after a non-violent independence movement led by Ghandi
I can appreciate how indigenous people see the 26 January, 1788 first fleet arrival date as the invasion day. The British did not recognise the land was occupied by a culture that had existed for 60, 000 years. I believe the date of federation of the states may be a better date but I would be happy to see a date that all Australians can celebrate.
The Happy Australia Day song by Luke O’Shea on the history of black and white won two (2) awards at the Tamworth Country Music Awards. This song asks for “respect as we all love this land and everyone still drinks from the same poison well”. There is a need for much healing with all Australians acknowledging the history of dispossession and deaths with the invasion.
Australia is one of the countries not to reconcile with its indigenous people. Canada and New Zealand have treaties with their indigenous people to ensure rights and respect. Like these countries there needs to be education of all Australians about indigenous culture and their connection to country.
Indigenous peoples have poor outcomes in health, high rates of incarceration in prisons and land rights recognition dragging on. It is time to work for human rights that make Australian indigenous people fairly treated. Action for crown lands like the Maroochy River Conservation Park under native title and legal custodianship are overdue.
We need to reflect, reconcile and heal coming together to celebrate Australia Day in a wonderful lucky country for indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.


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