What are we celebrating on January 26?
What are we celebrating on January 26? Contributed

OPINION: Why shouldn't we change the date of Australia Day?

A CASUAL glance at our own Facebook page makes me shudder before I type this.

Under a post asking whether we should follow the lead of Fremantle Council and change the date of Australia Day lies a mix of opinions and hot takes.

Most of them, safe to say, are in the negative.

Why? Well, once we take out those who assume, like a lot things, it's the fault of Muslims, we get down to the real argument.

"The date is culturally ingrained." I guess that's true if what we are celebrating is European settlement of our land. It has to be, right?

Australia Day as a public holiday was only nationally gazetted in 1994 so it's not even a generation that has thought of it purely as a celebration of national pride.

So we're back to the settlement thing, and while it is an event that has shaped the land we live in, for our indigenous community it is often seen as a date their culture and way of life was ripped from them. People were shot, poisoned and tortured and assimilated into the ways of the 'modern' world.

Is that what we're celebrating? I certainly hope not.

There's nothing wrong with having a day of national pride but it coinciding with the attempted annihilation of another culture probably isn't the best time to do so.

Lots will protest. The status quo is hard to change.

We have much to celebrate as a modern nation but why not do it on a date that doesn't remind some of a shameful past?


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