Currently it’s today, the 26th of January when the First Fleet of 11 convict ships arrived from Great Britain. Single events tend to have symbolic significance and history tends to be written by the victors.
So Australia Day is 26th of January.
Now maybe it’s time to consider whether a different view of history may include something more than that of the victors and that celebration of Australian Day may be more than just a celebration of the beginning of white settlement.
So there are suggestions that moving Australia Day from 26 January, which Indigenous Australians regard as Invasion Day, may be useful step towards reconciliation.
Naturally enough, therewill be heated debate on this issue. More heat than light.
The former industry, resources and science minister Ian Macfarlane suggested that the national day should move “to remove a potential roadblock to reconciliation and a greater Australiathat the day was inherently divisive because it commemorated what many Indigenous Australians regard as an invasion .. and that as a conservative, Anglo-Celtic Australian, I want to play a part in the push to changing the date of Australia Day. I believe it is an important way to prevent a potential schism in Australia’s society and to remove a potential roadblock to reconciliation and a greater Australia.”
He said Australians could not be united around the national day because, to some, it represents “terrible wrongdoings”.
The other side of the argument was put with the rapier -like logic and clarity so frequently associated with his public pronouncements by the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National Country Party, Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Joyce told Sydney radio station 2GB he gets “sick of these people who every time, every time there’s something on, they just want to make you feel guilty”.
“They don’t like Christmas, they don’t like Australia Day, they’re just miserable gutted people and I wish they would crawl under a rock and hide for a little bit,” the Nationals leader said, calling on people to stop “weeping and gnashing your teeth about me about the terrible evils we have done”.
“This is Australia Day and if you don’t like it, I don’t know mate, go to work, do something else.”
Well said, Barnaby.