The Edit

Australia Day: Time for Change?

On January 26th 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip raised a British flag in Sydney Cove upon landing in Australia…

 

 
Celebrated globally within the Australian community, Australia Day welcomes new citizens and honours those who have done a great service to the country.

All over Australia there are celebratory barbecues, parades and festivals as well as events that celebrate and educate on Aboriginal culture & history. Within the Aboriginal community, January 26th is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day which unofficially commemorates the original invasion of the continent by British colonists and the continued oppression of Aboriginal people since.

In recent years, Australia Day has been the subject of much debate, primarily around whether it encompasses ALL Australians. The opposing view is that it is a day that marks the beginning of massacres, dispossession, oppression and the Stolen Generations.

This period of Australian history is not a pretty one…

As well has losing their sovereign rights to their land and the right to practise their culture, between 1910 and 1970 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families had their children forcibly removed by governments, churches and welfare bodies. The children were bought up in institutions or fostered out to white families. This was an official government policy of Assimilation until 1969. Their names were often changed and they were forbidden to speak their traditional languages. These children are known as the Stolen Generations.

In 1995 The Australian Government launched an inquiry into the policy of forced child removal. On 13th February 2008 Kevin Rudd delivered a national apology to the Stolen Generations, but it wasn’t until January 26th 2013 that the Aboriginal flag was raised with the Australian flag on Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Many people recognise Australia Day isn’t an appropriate day to celebrate and have called for a new day to include ALL Australians of ALL cultures. Others believe changing the date of Australia Day would acknowledge the colonisation of Australia, but also the progress of moving forward towards a fairer Australia, inclusive of all cultures.

With a huge #Illamafia and fan base in Australia, at Illamasqua we strongly believe in celebrating Australia, but celebrating an Australia, inclusive of every culture, race and gender.

Read more and have your say here: amnesty.org.au/australia-day-change-the-date-2017

 
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In recent years, Australia Day has been the subject of much debate, primarily around whether it encompasses ALL Australians. The opposing view is that it is a day that marks the beginning of massacres, dispossession, oppression and the Stolen Generations.

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Nadine Bourne

Nadine Bourne

Writer and expert