The Instigator
SofiiaSmiith
Pro (for)
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The Contender
mercedes.mendez
Con (against)
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We should change the date of Australia Day, as it doesn't truly celebrate all Australians

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 118 times Debate No: 91556
Debate Rounds (3)
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SofiiaSmiith

Pro

Thirty years ago, a debatable decision was created to mark January 26th as Australia Day. A day made to originally celebrate the settlement of British colonies on indigenous soil. The date upon Australia Day was placed was the date Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag for the first time in Sydney Cove, taking possession of New South Wales. This day is acclaimed a public holiday, many Australians from European backgrounds spend the holiday with mates, celebrating the day off work, spending the time with friends and family.

"Australia Day" as the name suggests, should be a day to bring harmony and peace and to bring people of many different cultures together. However, not everyone celebrates the day as it should be. Also called "Invasion Day" or "Survival Day" as it is a day of loss, mourning and grief for many Indigenous Australians. The date of January 26th marks the date that Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders" ancestors were murdered, kidnapped and stolen. This is the reason of many protests, riots, violence and anger.

"If your ancestors were dispossessed, slaughtered and had their land and their children stolen, would you celebrate the date on which that all began?"
mercedes.mendez

Con

Australia day is a day we come together as a nation to celebrate whats great about Australia.

Australia day should not be changed as its a day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It is much more then barbeques and parties. It is pride and excitement of new citizens who call themselves Australian for the first time on the 26 of January after being conffered Citizenship.
Debate Round No. 1
SofiiaSmiith

Pro

How is it important for new citizens? The date on January the 26th is a day of British history, which has little to no meaning for new members of Australia. Changing the date could be a fresh start for all of the new migrants who've come to Australia in search for a home.

We remember the White Australia Policy, where only people of European backgrounds were settled into Australia. Now, Australia Day is a reminder of those times, of White Australia, of British rule. Australia as we know it today has a very large variety of cultures, and we settle and accept people of different races.

Australia Day is marked on a British historical date, which doesn"t mean much to people of different backgrounds! It doesn't celebrate the coming together of our nation, or the backgrounds of the multicultural society which we now have. We have so many refugees settling in Australia, where they"re hoping for a new home. Australia Day should be a day we should all remember and be proud of, for us to be proud of our accepting country. Changing the date would create a new meaning behind the words of Australia Day, instead of just being a repetitive reminder of the exclusive society Australia used to be.
mercedes.mendez

Con

Australia day is arguably one of the most unique national days in the world. Rather the unite it seems to divide Australia into two different view points. It is celebrated on the 26th of January as it marks the specific event of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by the commander Captain Arthur Phillip.
Debate Round No. 2
SofiiaSmiith

Pro

Australia Day tends to divide Australia instead of uniting all of us together. The reason behind this is that the date chosen was that the day it falls on 'celebrates' the date the Europeans came and invaded indigenous territory. America didn't choose the day Christopher Columbus settled the land as their national day, so we shouldn't have to keep our date and all the anger it causes, just because it was the day that the British claimed their first land.

Finally, a new date would refresh our country. It would remind us of all the good we"vie done and all that we can continue to be. If the date was changed, it"d be a day of harmony, peace, acceptance and happiness for people of all cultures and races, where we can all celebrate our differences together.

What date would we then choose?
A significant date from the past would be okay, such as the following:
13th February- The day in which Kevin Rudd apologised to the aboriginals.
11th April- The day the White Australia Policy was abolished
27th May- The day Aborigines were finally allowed constitutional rights

However, instead of choosing a day of the past, which may be significant for some but not others, I"m suggesting that we choose a fresh new date, which can mean something to people of all races. To choose this date, a plebiscite could take place, asking which dates would be preferable, giving people of all different races their say, after all, we"re all equal and deserve to celebrate Australia Day together, in peace.
mercedes.mendez

Con

Although Australia Day has virtually no symbolic meaning, it reflects the conteparary Australia. It origins are traced to a desire of egalitarinism that much of the worlds countries strive for and which arguably no other country has achieved as succefully as Australia. Australia day is a day promoted as a day for national unity. It shows our diverse society and landscape, remarkable achievments and is a day of opportunity to reflect our nations history. The small issue of Convicts still proved somewhat problematic when it came to acknowledging and celebrating the history. The solution was to simply erase them from history. For example, at a 1938 re-enactment of the first fleet"s arrival, there were Aborigines and British soldiers but no Convicts.
Debate Round No. 3
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