YOUR SAY: 'Why I want Australia Day moved from January 26'

THE Fraser Coast Chronicle spoke to an Indigenous Australian about why she wants the date of Australia Day to change.

Dimity Shillingsworth is a proud Wakka Wakka woman who lives on the Fraser Coast, and is one of the organisers of a march along Hervey Bay's esplanade from the Seafront oval, to be held on Thursday.

Why have you and your friends organised Thursday's walk?

Each year, marches are held in capital cities around the country protesting the "celebration" of Australia Day and calling for sovereignty and social justice for Indigenous Australians.

I think it's time for regional areas as well to get involved, the more people that show support the more we can make change.

What does January 26 mean to you?

To me it's seen as the dispossession of Indigenous land and a day of mourning over the First Fleet's arrival it's the day Aboriginal people lost their freedom.

Do you think it's possible for non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians to truly come together and celebrate our country?

Yes, people around the country are marching and protesting and have been for years.

Before we can do this we need the date changed so Indigenous people can celebrate their Australian identity.

We shouldn't have to be marching and protesting and making political statements in order to get recognition that should be built into this day.

What message would you like to send to people who think Australia Day should stay on January 26?

The celebration of our national day should be on a date that unites us as Australians not divides us and the 26th will never be a date on which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can celebrate.

Tell me a bit about the walk, where will it start and what time?

It starts at 8.30am goes throughout the day and we walk along the esplanade where a sausage sizzle and cultural dancing will be held.

We would love to see the community come together and support us.

Here Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can collaborate and build relationships by talking about the history of this country.

Topics:  fccommunity fcpolitics opinion

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