Aug 24, 2017

Change the date of Australia Day for patriotism’s sake!

Once again the hot topic of changing the date of Australia Day has bubbled to the surface. While Turnbull says the date is intrinsically tied to Australia culture Henry Reynolds argues that most Australians don't even know what the date specifically commemorates, and if they did, might not be so keen on keeping it.

City of Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf (second left) and City of Yarra Mayor Amanda Stone (second right)

Controversy about Australia Day is intensifying. Triple J has consulted its listeners about moving the popular Hottest 100 Countdown from January 26th. Debate is taking place in council chambers across the country. Melbourne’s Yarra Council was savaged by Prime Minister Turnbull in parliament last week because the councillors had decided to cancel official ceremonies on January 26. But this week neighbouring Darebin Council voted six to two to follow suit and to be similarly chastised by the federal government.

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8 thoughts on “Change the date of Australia Day for patriotism’s sake!

  1. Bob the builder

    Finally some sensible, informed commentary on this issue. A breath of fresh air!
    Unless we make it a Day of Reflection, with the sombre respect that implies, not a Celebration, the date should be changed. What a continuing insult to Aboriginal people all over and to non-Aboriginal people who have any sense of decency and inclusiveness.

  2. bushby jane

    Flinders Council has held an alternative festival with the local Aboriginal association for several years now on Jan 26, successfully, with no problems raised by the Feds.

  3. Will

    “Clearly we can identify and empathise either with the predators or the victims; with the agents of British Imperialism or the besieged First Nations.”

    Is there possibly a third way – agree upon and sign a Treaty, say, purposefully dated Jan 26 of its year of signing?
    As we’ve clearly seen, any suggestion of moving Australia Day, removing or even re-captioning statues, or renaming streets, etc, simply gifts the media representatives of the most beneficial descendants of British Imperialism the claim to (cultural-symbolic) victimhood. And its something they exploit as professionally as they do mercilessly.
    The strategic point is, it’s not enough that a political project be historically righteous. It also first has to not start a civil war (or, in this case, re-start a defacto one). No conservative in captivity will ever concede that right is not on their side. That’s what conservatism is! So, the job is to work around that (unless you’re also prepared to countenance eugenics). The real challenge is to formulate a Treaty that can be appreciated as empowering rather than enriching. Tossing around blame is no challenge at all.

  4. Draco Houston

    Let’s keep it on the 26th, to remind everyone that Australia is disgusting at least once a year. So we can wake up from our little fantasy and recall that we are a settler state built on the bones of a conquered people, squatting this land on behalf of the empire.

    1. Susan Anderson

      Im reminded that Australia is disgusting every day of the bloody year just at the mo, why dont we fuck off straya day and its zombie patriotism and make it Reconciliation day

    2. lykurgus

      Keeping it unconditionally on the 26th would in fact BE a change, as we move it to the nearest Monday every year; because if we ever allowed it to fall on a weekend, the flag-cape-wearers would REALLY lose their shit. If that didn’t remind us of our purulent abscesses, what would?

  5. AR

    Let’s take it back to what it was intended to be before the Rodent got his paws on it – a BBQ, piss-up long weekend.
    When do we most need a long weekend – some time mid year, when all the others have been exhausted.
    With climate change, the Winter Equinox could be heatwave season so that’s my choice, June 21st or the nearest Monday to preserve that sacred Oz invention, the long w/e, from Friday to Tuesday, hell make it count, as Stevie Wright sang, “on Sunday I got Friday on my mind” so make it the full week.
    Not as if there’ll be much in the way of meaningful employment in the near future so leave us eat, drink and be merrie, fornicate the daze away.

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