It’s January 26th! Australia Day!
If you believe what you read in the recent news, Australians are becoming blase about our official national day, celebrating the arrival of the first fleet. Without heading down the well worn path of bashing the media, I think they have it completely wrong, in making some of these claims.
In a short history lesson, for those of you who aren’t aware, the 26th January 1788, was the birth of our nation and the date of arrival in Australia of the first fleet of convicts, soldiers and the appointed governor of the new colony, Capt Arthur Phillip. They had sailed across the world from England to settle the country discovered by Capt James Cook in 1770. The new colony was initially being set up as a jail and the convicts were the slave labor, to build the early infrastructure to get the settlement up and running. It was being run by the representatives of the British government, to operate under the jurisdiction and laws of the British colonial system. The world was a different place back then. Laws and respect for human life and other cultures were vastly different from what they are today (although, that’s up for debate too). The indigenous population was run over roughshod, and treated as expendable to expand the colony from its early days.
But, somewhere along the line of history, and all of its terrible past atrocities, we have to break clear and move on. That’s probably an easy statement to make if you grew up in white Australia. But how long do we, as a country have to bear the guilt, or does it hang over our heads for ever? It is perhaps an easy statement to make…….but lets move on Australia. Get over it!! Now…. I am sure that if I had any indigenous ancestry, I would probably hold a certain amount of bitterness about the treatment of my forefathers, however it’s time to let it go. As a country, we’ve altered laws, educated, thrown money at it. We can’t change history! We cannot do much more! Unfortunately, there will always be ignorant bigotry.
I’m a proud Aussie! I’m proud of our nation! I’m proud of the way we have built it! I’m proud of the way we have defended it! I’m proud of our achievements on the sporting field, in science, medical research and education. I’m proud of our lifestyle! I’m proud to accept new Aussie’s here to live in this brilliant country!
But, I am not proud of this continuous division, that appears to be media driven every year, leading up to our national day. We aren’t proud of the genocidal acts that took place hundreds of years ago, here in Australia and in many other parts of the world by colonial powers, but we can’t change history either.
I honestly believe that most of our indigenous population are over it too! As usual, there doesn’t seem to be anything to report on, so lets dig up the same old chestnuts to stir up anti-Australian sentiment leading up to Australia Day.
So….To the media, B grade celebs, low rating morning TV breakfast shows, the arty farty types with plenty of spare time & who rely on the public purse to survive…….Crawl back in your holes and leave Australia and Aussies to get on with our annual peaceful celebration of our fantastic country and its achievements.
And to our political leaders……Go ahead, listen to a small minority….Have a costly & unwanted referendum for changing the date of Australia Day and watch it get voted down spectacularly, and keep in mind, it won’t win you any votes at the next election.