According to a poll commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs.", 91% of Australian's are proud to be Australian's. 85% of Australian's also believe Australia day is a day for celebration. Australia day is a time where everyone should come together and celebrated our multicultural and heartwarming country. We are all citizens, not just customers and deserve the best experience in Australia and that is why we celebrate Australia day, to celebrate our achievements. January 26th marks the beginning where the indigenous and those born here celebrated the nation we call home.
Australia Day or "Invasion Day" as many know it does not necessarily need to be discarded but instead we should reflect upon the date which it is held. January 26th is the same day that in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip colonised New South Wales, a very upsetting date for many Aboriginals, marking the start of so much pain and suffering that came to them.
While it may be true that 85% of Australians are in favour of Australia Day as a celebration this does not necessarily tackle their views on the date which it is held. It is also important to understand that the original custodians of the land only make up 2.4% of Australia's total population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, so when using percentages it undermines them.
Yes, the aboriginals were the first on the land and should be respected but the date change is likely to divide the nation rather than unite it in the way the apology did. There is no right or wrong way to spend the day which is a blessing. People have their bbq's and see their families but others may want to celebrate it a different way or even on another day that Australia isn"t celebrating. It is completely up to them. There would be great conflict if there were a date change as everyone in Australia and around the world know that January 26th is Australia Day. It has been like that for many years, so why change it now? As we have apologised to all the aboriginals it is time to come together and show our happiness through January 26.
The foundation your argument and many others in favour of Australia Day is based upon is that it is a day for celebration and unity. However, every year radio stations and tv programs act as a force to divide our nation in a great debate about the date change. If the reason for celebration is unity of our country shouldn't we celebrate on a date that reflects the views of everyone? While apologies have been spoken to the aboriginal people and supposed "land rights" have been given, land is still seen as something profitable as reflected in the NT minister's decision to support the Uluru climb despite backlash from Indigenous communities (SBS news article), the continuation of celebrating on this date is the nail in the coffin.
The Australian national anthem even has words that represent that way that Australia is. It calls on rejoice as we are young and free, it also includes the word home. Above everything, it is freedom that we are celebrating, which is why Australian's are free to spend the day how they want. Our country is lucky as not many countries around the world get the kind of freedom we have. The national anthem tells a story of what Australia is today and words like rejoice, young, free, home say that we are a country representing all. So why should the date be changed if it represents our freedom and happiness and us coming together with the indigenous? Why should we get rid of a day that has been the date of January 26 for many, many years?
Despite many freedoms Australian's have, Australia day definitely does not reflect coming together with the indigenous, in fact quite the opposite. We can not ignore the fact that the date is the day the British colonised NSW, we can not ignore the fact that thousands of aboriginals were killed and many more stolen if they appeared to be white. Today Aborigines are still disadvantaged in our society because of problems that colonising Australia introduced, for example diseases associated with alcohol use is almost double that of the general population, not to mention the fact that 60% of aboriginal children are behind non-indigenous students by year one. Does this sound like something we should be celebrating? It doesn't seem like freedom.