The Instigator
12435
Pro (for)
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The Contender
chelsea12565
Con (against)
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Australia Day should be changed from January 26th to another date.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 245 times Debate No: 91803
Debate Rounds (3)
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12435

Pro

Australia day has a black history.
In reality it's the anniversary of the white mans arrival and seizure of Australia.
If your ancestors were dispossessed, slaughtered and their families had children taken away and stolen from their arms, Would you celebrate the day it begun?
Should Australia day be changed from the 26th of January?

For aboriginal people Australia Day is a day of mourning. It reminds them of the genocide that occurred to their people, a time when British settlers separated thousands of children from their families, mothers were raped and men would be massacred.
For indigenous Australians and Torres strait islanders this is Invasion Day. On the 26th of January 1788 the English sent 162,000 convicted criminals to Australia in 806 ships. The first eleven of these ships are today known as the first fleet and contained criminals and marines that are now acknowledged as the Founders of Australia.
Before 1788 Australia was populated by over 750,000 Aboriginal people, a civilisation estimated by modern scientists to be over 250,000 years old. The First fleet were not the founders of Australia as the Aboriginal people had inhabited the world's oldest continent for over 10,000 years already. Those 806 ships filled with prisoners brought various diseases such as smallpox, influenza and measles to the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people had no resistance or immunity to these diseases. In under a year more than half of the Aboriginal civilisation had been eradicated by White settlers diseases. As more and more white settlers invaded the land the aborigines were pushed further and further away from their traditional land, their families were broken up and children were sent to be "civilised" in white people's homes.To this day there are thousands of people living without their families. Many aboriginals died from starvation and abuse. Over one third of aboriginal people die before the age of 45. The killing and exploitation of aborigines by whites settlers continued well into the twentieth century. Aboriginals were second class citizens in their own land. January 26th represents the beginning of these events. It is not a day we should be celebrating.
chelsea12565

Con

My opponent stated that this date remembers the injustice done to aboriginals over the years, but it has s much more meaning then that. This is a day to celebrate how far we have come as a nation and what we have achieved since settlers have arrived in Australia. Bad things happened to aboriginals for many years, but we have grown from that which I, and many other aboriginals, think is the true meaning of Australia Day. I agree that the aborigines need proper recognition after all that has happened to them, but the 26th of January is a very important day for Australians and that shouldn"t be taken away from us. Instead of changing the date, face the real problems in society. We should not forget the wrongdoings done to indigenous people when the English settled in Australia, but we should learn from the past and move forward from it. Aboriginals should be recognised as the traditional owners of the land, and then we should all move forward as a nation and celebrate the new era of our country, where changing the date of celebrating our nation should not matter. My position in this argument is against changing the date of Australia Day, a national holiday, celebrating all things Australian on the 26th January each year. The history of Australia is very significant in our lives and makes us who we are today. This date symbolises when Australia was first recognised as a country, and settled by the English. This era was a time of inequality and conflict between different groups of people, but we have grown from our mistakes and are now second on the UN"s human development index. Australians have celebrated this holiday on this date for nearly 100 years. What better date could we choose to best represent our growth as a nation? The 26th of January reflects the origins of our country and the nation it has become. This date is and always will be an important date for Australian history, no matter what people choose to think. Changing the date of Australia Day cannot erase our history. No matter what, our history will always be a time of injustice. Instead of thinking about how awful aboriginals were treated, we should learn from that injustice and create a better place for everyone, which is shown on Australia Day. Australian Of The Year is awarded on this day, which encourages people to speak out about injustice in different communities and is a great time for everyone to remember the true owners of this land, aboriginals. This award focuses on the good work being done now, and acknowledges the past, but focuses on the present. As Mother Theresa once said, "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin."
Debate Round No. 1
12435

Pro

My opposition stated , "move forward" Here"s the problem with that statement.If you apply the same logic to non-Aboriginal Australia, then we should stop commemorating Anzac Day. "Its time to move forward". The wars were years ago."Obviously, we"d never treat our veterans with so much disrespect, living or dead. The simple truth is we shouldn"t treat Aboriginal people that way either. If we think it"s important to still mark the sacrifice of our ancestors for something that happened 100 years ago, why would we expect Aboriginal people to react any differently? She also questioned what other possible day is there to change Australia Day to, another day that I believe best suits all Australians and something that other Australians also agree with is the 1st of September which is wattle day. A wattle is an Australian flower which is green and yellow and best represents us. Why not celebrate Australia day on a day that we can really celebrate what we love Australia for, which is the weather and nature and many other things that the 1st of september which is also the first day of spring can best represent us.

The 26th of January 1780 was a day of British settlement. If we want to see Australia as a colonial outpost for the British then celebrating the 26th of January makes sense, but if we want Australia to represent the vibrant multicultural nation that it is and recognise that indigenous people are a core part of this country's identity and history, then it makes absolutely no sense to celebrate Australia day on that date. Changing the date to one that does not have such negative memories for such a large number of Indigenous Australians would show we have aspirations to become greater than what we are now. It would show compassion towards our indigenous people, asylum seekers/refugees, non white migrants and would represent what true multicultural Australia stands for. Australia has been celebrating Australia day for 21 years. It is time we recognise this day of celebration is a poor choice. A better choice would be to celebrate Australia Day on the day the White Australia Policy was abolished, because the only thing they really established in 1788 was a penal colony.
chelsea12565

Con

My opposition stated that this date shows Australia as a colonial outpost but, this date does not represent the settlers taking the Aboriginals land. That is not what we remember when we are with our families, having a good old barbecue with some lamb while celebrating Australia Day. We think of all the things that have been done since then and the achievements by Australia in today's world. No one celebrates the negative aspects of our history, but the positivity that we share in the world today. Even though we have done many cruel things in the past, we have tried to amend our wrong doings by helping indigenous people in different ways. We have given funding to aborigines and brought the necessities they need to live a healthy, happy and safe life, which many of our indigenous Australians are ungrateful for. Land has been given back to their native owners, and big projects have been stopped that would have improved the economy because of this. We have given many things to aboriginals and recognised them as the true owners of this land. National Reconciliation Week is celebrated every year around Australia to recognise the traditional landowners of our country and remind all Australians to reconcile with Aborigines. Kevin Rudd formally apologised to Australia"s Indigenous people in 2008, after a long wait. A football game is dedicated to aboriginals every year at the MCG, where many cultural aspects of the community are shown to bring knowledge to the people of Australia. I agree that they should have more recognition on Australia Day as the traditional owners of Australia, but all I"m wondering is, will they ever forgive our ancestors? What more can we do? And if we do change the date of Australia Day, will this fix the injustice done in the past?
Debate Round No. 2
12435

Pro

My oppostion stated that we do help the indigenous people alot and that we have done alot for them and we have but by changing the date it will acknowledge errors made by government and reflect sincere remorse towards our indigenous australians. Financially perhaps we have helped them but the office of the united nations for indigenous affairs reports showed that our indigenous people are in some areas of australia are still living in below 3rd world country standards with no basic sanitation, clean water or adequate housing furthermore below average medical care.The indigenous community also has the highest incarceration rate than anywhere in the world, these few points and many more clearly demonstrate that the question raised regarding aboriginal assistence is much larger a problem than financial assistance.
Australia remains the only country in the world that chooses the arrival of white settlement to its shores to mark its nationhood. Australia day is a race based date for celebrations. By celebrating Australia Day on a different date would send a better message to everyone that Australia day is a day intended for all australians to celebrate including all immigrants, Aboriginals and refugees. Rather than building our country on the idea of a partnership with Aboriginal people, our laws have sought to exclude and discriminate against them. People are unable to be outraged by what they don't know, they can not feel compassion for the atrocities that they don't know happened they cant sympathise or relate to the pain and anger felt by indigenous Australians if they don't know where it comes from. Refusing to change the day Australia day is celebrated shows ignorance to our countries real ancestors, our history and current reality.
chelsea12565

Con

My opposition states that not changing the date shows ignorance towards our history, but this date shows that we remember our history and the wrong doings that have been done, but we have moved forward and become better people as a nation. This date recognises the past but focuses on our future and the good achievements in the modern world. My opponent stated that this day represents grief for aboriginals, and the wrong we have committed. As I have said, this day is celebrating how far we have come since that day and the achievements made since that time. Australia Day is about celebrating our achievements in today"s world, and thing equality we now have that we didn"t 100 years ago. Changing the date of Australia cannot change the wrong doings we have done in the past, and will not fix the problems we face. We should recognise aboriginals more on this date and show our gratitude for all they have done for us, but changing the date is not the right way. We are recognising our development as a nation and the good we are doing in today"s world, after much conflict and grief in the past. The future is all we have ahead of us that we can change, and we need to focus on this instead of things we cannot change in the past. The Australian Of The Year Award is a great chance to show this pride we have for our country today and the good work being done every year. Australians have tried to amend any wrong doings that have been done by reconciling with aboriginals every year. Funding has been given, sporting games have been played in their honour, a week has been named National Reconciliation Week to recognise all aboriginals, and much more. We have done all this to try and fix something in the past that we have no way of erasing, which many do not take into consideration when calling people who celebrate this day "racists." All Australians want to do is celebrate our culture and have a good time with family and friends. What more can we do to make aboriginals forgive the wrong doings that we cannot change? We are all sorry, and people need to recognise that.
Debate Round No. 3
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