Australia Day – A Conflict with Aboriginal Australia?

Tuesday 26th January is Australia Day. What is Australia Day? Why are there some people that choose to protest on this day? What impact does it have for Aboriginal Australia? Find out more and have your say. Should Australia Day be moved? If you are lucky enough to be in Australia, how should you celebrate?

This Tuesday (26th January) most of Australia
will be adorning themselves and their homes with the Australian flag. You can
also expect to see traditional Aussie Barbies, entertainment and celebrations
in all corners of the country.

 

 

Australia Day is a public holiday across every state of
Australia and marks the end of the long summer holiday. It’s the last day of
parties and celebrations before life returns to the normalities of work and school.  It is the official National day of
Australia.

 

Two official items mark the day itself. The first is the
“Order of Australia” which is where the Queen of England (and Australia)
recognises certain chivalry acts from Australian citizens, both from the
military and normal walks of life. The Australian States also nominate those
who have excelled in their field for the Australian of the Year Award.

 

 

Why do the Australian’s celebrate Australia Day?

 

Australia Day commemorates the landing of the first fleet of
British ships in 1788 at Sydney Cove and the hoisting of the British flag. This
was when British sovereignty of Australia began. It is no wonder then that many
groups of Australia, particularly the indigenous groups, dislike Australia day
and choose to protest on the day. For them, it marks the start of the
destruction of their culture and aboriginal Australia.

 

Aboriginal Australia

 

Before the
European settlement, it is estimated that the indigenous population of
Australia was around 315,000.

 

With the
European settlers came old world diseases that the aborigines could not
survive. This wiped out many of their population. On top of that, laws gave
them no claim to the land and as the European settlers grew, the aborigines
were pushed out.

 

Should Australia
Day be moved?

 

The Australian’s are now much more sympathetic toward the
Aboriginals and appreciate that they are an important part of Australian
history and culture. It therefore does seem inappropriate to celebrate the
National Day of Australia on this day.

 

 

So should the date of Australia Day be changed? The
Australian’s are a hugely patriotic nation and should be able to celebrate all
that is wonderful about being Australian – Enjoying the sunshine, beaches and
surf, eating wonderful seafood and meats cooked to perfection on the Barbie and
of course they know how to party with music and dancing. So lets move the date
so that the Australian’s can celebrate without feeling guilty about the culture
and lives of Aboriginal Australia.

 

 

Where to Celebrate Australia Day?

 

In most towns you will find some sort of entertainment for
Australia Day. The capital cities are however the best places. Sydney in
particular puts on some fantastic entertainment including ferry races on the
harbour, fireworks at Darling Harbour as well as kids shows and more
entertainment in and around The Rocks and Hyde Park. Expect it to be busy but
worth the effort.

 

So whether you are Aussie, or just visiting Australia, make
sure you embrace this National Day and celebrate the good things about being
Australian. Wishing you all a great Australia Day!

 


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