Thoughts on Australia Day
Kamisah Bin Demin is one of our deadly black&write! OnScreen Editing Trainees. In this post she shares some thoughts on Australia Day.
A country’s national day is one that should celebrate its unity and strengths. I don’t believe that January 26th, the date marking the arrival of The First Fleet is such a day.
The 26th of January 1788 was the day Captain Arthur Phillip took possession of the Australian mainland in the name of King George III. Doesn't quite sound appropriate for that unique Australian identity everyone seems to grasp onto. What significance does this date have on our ideas of mate-ship and being fair dinkum? In my opinion it’s a date that simply signifies our ties with England and is symbolic of the original invasion of Australia. In my opinion, a completely inappropriate date, irrelevant to the Australian community, and understandably offensive for many Indigenous Australians.
The 27th of May 1967, is the day that I would choose as Australia Day. This was the date when it was announced that over 90% of Australia’s non-Indigenous community voted to give equal citizenship rights to the Indigenous people of the country. This is truly, in my eyes, a symbol of unity, proof that Australia has in fact come a long way from where it began with the First Fleet. It is a day that reflects positively on the entire community, and one that each and every one of us should be proud of.
It is my strong belief that the future of our beautiful country is highly dependent on what we as Australians see as most important to us as a nation, and I can only hope that equality and respect are as high on everyone else’s agenda as they are on mine.