Australia Day an insult to Aboriginals: former candidate

AUSTRALIA DAY: Former Hinkler Federal Labor candidate Tim Lawson.
AUSTRALIA DAY: Former Hinkler Federal Labor candidate Tim Lawson. Mike Knott BUN200117AUSTRALIADAY

Should Australia Day's date be changed?

This poll ended on 28 January 2017.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

That's the question Tim Lawson is posing to Bundaberg and the nation as he calls for Australia Day to be moved to another date.

The former Hinkler Federal candidate said it was "insane" to expect that Aboriginal people would want to embrace January 26 as a national day of celebration.

Proud Gurang Gurang and Gooreng man Kerry Blackman said on January 26, when people were downing a beverage, playing some beach cricket or throwing a snag on the barbecue to celebrate Australia Day, he wouldn't ever think of stopping them.

But he wouldn't be taking part either.

"Today we call it survival day because we have survived the atrocities, the massacres, the murders, the destruction of our culture and our language," Mr Blackman said.

"We still suffer a lot of the trauma that has been passed on down the generations.

"Saying it is a celebration for all Australians is not true."

Mr Lawson said the most common refrain used was that it was time for Aboriginal people to "move on" because it happened so long ago.

But he said if you applied the same logic to non-Aboriginal Australia, then we should stop commemorating Anzac Day.

"Obviously, we'd never treat our veterans with so much disrespect, living or dead," Mr Lawson said.

"The simple truth is we shouldn't treat Aboriginal people that way either."

Mr Lawson said another line directed at Aboriginal people was that it was previous generations who were responsible for these atrocities.

"All Australians, regardless of their age, have directly benefited from the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people," Mr Lawson said.

One Nation Bundaberg candidate Jane Truscott said Australia Day should not be moved and it was a time of national pride.

"Australia Day marks the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack," she said.

"We can't change history; these are recorded historical facts.

"While it marks a historical time in Australian history, in contemporary Australia it is more than that.

"It is a time of reflection regarding our country's diversity and achievements; an opportunity for all people of Australia to come together as one nation."

Mr Lawson disagreed.

"There is only one way forward if Australia wants a truly inclusive national date," he said.

"We must change the date.

"Until we do, our national day will be marred by this conversation every year."

Topics:  aboriginal australia day invasion day labor one nation

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