Western Australia

Jan 19, 2018

How the Australia Day culture war came to WA

As debate continues at every level of government in the lead-up to Australia Day, we revisit the City of Fremantle. Some aren't convinced that change, when it comes, will begin with politicians.

Brendan Foster

Freelance journalist

City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt

When a Western Australian council quietly announced it was pushing back its Australia Day celebrations two days, little did it know it would drag the change the date saga kicking and screaming onto the national stage.

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21 comments

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21 thoughts on “How the Australia Day culture war came to WA

  1. Wayne Robinson

    I personally don’t take any notice of Australia Day. It’s a ‘nothing day’ – just the anniversary of the day that the First Fleet moved a few kilometres up the coast to a better harbour.

    It was given significance much, much latter.

    Now Anzac Day, that was given significance from the very start. It was commemorated by the troops in Europe and the Middle East from 1916. But its significance has changed over the years.

    I think Australia Day should be celebrated on a different day. Perhaps the anniversary of when the name ‘Australia’ was first used officially? Or Republic Day?

  2. Kerry Lovering

    Almost all Aboriginal people have a non indigenous ancestor whom they should also celebrate. Australia Day seems to be the appropriate date until we have our Australian Republic.

    1. rhwombat

      Perhaps they are reluctant to celebrate invading rapists and dispossessers. I know I am.

    2. Matt Hardin

      Nice of you to let people know what they should do. Anything else you think other people should celebrate?

  3. Keith Kube

    Already in Tasmania the rule is “Australia Day (26 January), unless that day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case the following Monday;”. That is, we already do not always have a holiday on 26 Jan.
    Why not just say ‘Last Monday in January”, in a similar manner to most other holidays.

  4. 124C4U

    On behalf of the IPA, Business Council of Australia, Mining Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Employers Associations of Australia. Nausea Ltd., Hancock Prospecting and the LNP . ( I didn’t, ask but think they agree.).
    I propose we eliminate Australia Day completely.
    By doing that it eliminates those lazy unproductive Lower Social Orders wasting their time sitting around and having fun. By not working on that day they cost the economy squillions of dollars, lower our profits and threaten our CEOs bonuses. Not to mention the exorbitant Penalty Rates we have to pay, brought on by those Union Thugs strangling and robbing us. ( Non- union Thugs exempted.)
    As an additional bonus it will stop that ridiculous argument and fight over, on what day
    it should take place.

    1. Marion Wilson

      Yes sah massa Legree

  5. Western Red

    As Socrates would say ‘an unexamined life is not worth the living’, a maxim which obviously could be readily applied to most conservative politicians.

  6. AR

    The Separate Creation far away beyond the Simpson Desert has never been comfortable east tainted stuff so why wouldn’t it have a different date as with Queen’s b/d?

  7. Weiveinhope

    Yes, it will change. The ‘genie is out of the bottle’. Too bad, too sad for conservatives. I doubt Turnbull or Shorten really give a rats, but they have to play to where they think the votes are at the moment.

  8. Lady White Peace

    If only people understood the reason that the Indigenous people were here for 60K years guarding this land….. for the time when it was appropriate for an experiment organised by the Spiritual Guides of this planet. Multiculturalism ! This has been totally successful in Australia with 185plus nationalities living in relative harmony. It didn’t work in USA though reason…they insisted on assimilation we only asked that people Integrate!
    So why the experiment?? Because in the next 30 or so years the world will be without borders, without passport visa’s etc. As we all become more enlightened and awake to the fact that there is one race on earth…. The Human Race.

  9. 2sheds

    Oh the moral hypocrisy of the member of Tangney “I stopped the politicisation of citizenship” The politicisation of citizenship has been LNP bread and butter since John Howard.

    1. Dog's Breakfast

      My thoughts exactly 2sheds (Jackson, by any chance?)
      ““Our citizenship ceremonies should never be used to validate a political point or event…”
      He said, using citizenship ceremonies to validate a political point………

      I’m not sure whether I’m more offended by their hypocrisy, or their sheer unmitigated ignorance and lack of self awareness. Do they even listen to the words that come out of their mouths?

  10. Dion Giles

    The obvious day for Australia Day was when people of a variety of national backgrounds united to stand up to the British colonialists leading quickly from a British colonial backwater to the launch of the democratic nation of Australia. This took place at the Ballarat goldfields on December 3 1854. December 3 for Australia Day and the five star Eureka flag of defiance for the Australian national flag would better represent our self-governing multicultural nation than the British colonial symbols that we are stuck with.

    1. [email protected]

      Rather than Eureka, wait until there is a Treaty and celebrate that. Some say that the date is not important cf Price and Mundine. Surely though another date can be used.Treaty Now.

    2. billy campoven

      I support Dec 3 as the birth of democracy. Also Dec 2 was the day Whitlam was elected and he changed Australia for indigenous people. Jan 1 also works as Federation Day.
      So, the list of potential dates :
      Jan 1 : Federation Day, 1901
      May 8 : Maaate. Sup Cuzzy bro? Very Australian
      Jun 3 : Terra Nullius was overturned 1992
      Dec 2 : Australia dragged into the 20th century with Whitlam elected 1972
      Dec 3 : birth of democracy with Eureka Stockade. Start and finish of Australia’s civil war. 1854

    3. billy campoven

      The obvious day is when we become a republic.

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