Thousands turn up to 'Invasion day' protests in major cities

Jan 27, 2017, 00:12

Australia Day has taken on a greater significance; it doesn't merely celebrate the events of a single day in history.

We must find a day on which we can all participate equally, and can celebrate with pride our common Australian identity.

However the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told The Project that he would not consider a change.

LGBTI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are often left out of important conversations in each of those communities, so we made a decision to ask three queer Indigenous voices how they feel about Australia Day.

The Fremantle council voted to scrap the Australia Day fireworks declaring they are insensitive towards indigenous people. One senator described those calling for the holiday's date to be changed as "left-wing activists and latte-sipping apologists".

For many Aussies, January 26 is a glorious day off work where you can indulge in a sausage sizzle and few cold ones in the sunshine.

The date was chosen because it represents the day in 1788 when the Union Jack was first hoisted on Australian land and when the First Fleet - the first of many convict ships - arrived in Sydney. So for many aboriginals, the day is merely a reminder of the negative impacts of colonialism and the displacement of their people. Aboriginal Australians, known as the "first Australians", are the oldest known civilisation on Earth.

So, Australians, drink up and celebrate, and don't let the hang-ups of the white-guilt crew ruin your day.

Say it with an Aussie accent, and it becomes clear, perfectly summing up the Aussie ideal of mateship, and making the celebration of the national day more palitable to those who struggle with January 26.

But how will protesting about the date and Australia Day help those Aboriginal people most in need?

Lest We Forget - no pride in genocide.

Will the date be changed? On a local radio show, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said that the demands to change the date were "political correctness gone mad".

More than 70 percent of Aboriginal people were killed by warfare and disease within the first two years of the British settlement. However, if previous years are anything to go by, that day, whether you call it "Australia Day", "Survival Day", "Invasion Day", or whatever, is likely to be the source of some debate.

Ellen Wharton-Kirke of Manly, New South Wales proposed a day on which all Australians could sell memorabilia to raise money for the soldiers then fighting at Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Great War. "They don't like Christmas, they don't like Australia Day, they're just miserable ... and I wish they'd crawl under a rock and hide for a little bit".

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