In short, yes, I believe it should.
There have been comments and interviews from both sides, and I have listened intently, particularly trying to understand why there is a passion for those opposed. But then I realised: That’s the point! There are two sides.
If we are going to celebrate Australia Day, surely it needs to be as a united people.
I’ve heard people argue that it is a recollection of our past. Can we not learn about the atrocities committed against our first peoples at school? If we’re not, we should be.
And can we not recall the day where the boats sailed into the harbour to begin – in essence – taking over, on another day? Where we mark the challenges and conflict with an ample measure of respect and remembrance? It doesn’t seem appropriate to me to have our moment of celebration on a day that pinpoints the beginning of such suffering and forced change.
And should a national day not look forward? We could focus on creating a better future for, well, Australians.
Should our beauty and compassion not extend to mirror that of our country?
I read Eddie McGuire’s suggestion of May 27th as an appropriate day. Now, I must admit, I am a Collingwood supporter but this hasn’t swayed my view. Promise!
As reported in the ABC’s article, Australia Day: If we were to change the date, these are some of our options:
On May 27, 1967, Australia held a referendum to include Indigenous Australians in the census count and to give Federal Parliament the power to specifically legislate for them.
Almost 91 per cent of Australians voted Yes, with every state voting heavily in favour of the changes.
It also kicks off National Reconciliation Week every year.
Seems much more fitting, and to me, much more Australian. And isn’t that the point?
Dr. Rebecca Harwin
Chiropractor & Multi-book Author