What’s your take on Australia Day?

What’s your take on Australia Day?

Like many parents in Canberra, it is a rested long weekend for my parents to spend time with us at the Australia Day Eve Parliament House Concert (25th January) and the Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular at the Lake Burley Griffin (26th January). However, not only I celebrate Australia Day, all Australians do. But do we all do it the same way?

So how do Australians celebrate Australia Day? Many have get-togethers with friends and family and think about how great it is to be Australian. Others, however, go through great sorrow and grief due to the losses of their ancestors. All in all, Australia Day is a historical day to commemorate the British independence over New Holland (now known as Australia) in 1788. In 1788 the First Fleet, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed on the Sydney Cove. But how did such a significant day become a national celebration?

Well, during 1806 to 1808, there were no official celebrations in recognition of such a day. However, on the 26th January 1808, the colony immigrants began to commemorate the date to ‘celebrate their love of the land they lived in’ with ‘drinking and merriment’. Long story short, from then on, this day came to be known as Australia Day.

Nowadays, Australians celebrate this day in a variety of ways. Many have get-togethers with family and friends to have a picnic or barbeque. There are parades, citizenship ceremonies and the presentation of the Australian of the Year. Whatever the celebration, Australia Day is a day where we think about how great we truly are. This should mean that Australia Day is a great day for everybody. This statement is incorrect. Australia Day is not a great day for everyone, especially for many Aboriginals.

During the time of the discovery of Australia, many Aboriginals died by the hands of the British settlers. Thusly, Australia Day has had an adverse affect on the Indigenous community. Instead, on this day, the Aboriginals are accompanied by ‘Day of Mourning’. In Sydney, 1988, a large group of Aboriginals gathered together and led an ‘Invasion Day’ tribute to the loss of their culture. This anniversary is also known as ‘Survival Day’ which honours the fact that not all Aboriginals and their culture were completely lost. The first official event for ‘Survival Day’ was held in Sydney 1992.

Taken from that, it is clear that such a day fails to include all Australians. To make up for such a loss, there were numerous suggestions to move the Australia Day date. This would be seen as a significant symbolic act for the Aboriginals. However, many of these suggestions are yet still unresolved. Some of the suggestions include 1st January (Federation of Australia), 25th April (Anzac Day), 3rd December (Eureka Stockade) and the 9th July (Constitution Day). However, the Australian Federal Government has not yet supported the proposed idea.

So, to summarize, what is Australia Day? Australia Day is many things to many different people. From my point of view, it’s a memorial day to go out and enjoy a picnic or a barbeque with family and friends and, at the same time, it is a respectful day to pay a tribute to all lives which have been lost during the foundation of Australia.

But Australia Day isn’t simply about me. It’s about all Australians. What’s your take on Australia Day?

Place your ads here!

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment