Protests over Australia Day date falling on 'Invasion Day'

Should Australia Day actually be celebrated
Protests over Australia Day date falling on 'Invasion Day'
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28 January, 2017

Marking the growing debate around the date of Australia Day, thousands of people marched through the heart of Sydney's Aboriginal community, Redfern, onto the city and up to Victoria Park where the Yabun festival was being held.

After enduring months of controversy over his council's plan to move Australia Day festivities to another date, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt cheerfully swore in 40 new Australian citizens this morning, claiming a victory of sorts despite being forced to partially back down by the Federal Government.

"I, like many Aboriginal people, want to celebrate Australia Day, want to unify as a country", Clarke said.

Australia Day has diverse meaning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians - some see it as a day of invasion, a day of mourning and of assertion of sovereignty, and some see it as a day of survival.

January 26 is Australia's national holiday and while it was created to be a day that celebrated the nation, it has become a controversial date especially that has divided the nation.

Ellen Wharton-Kirke of Manly, New South Wales proposed a day on which all Australians could sell memorabilia to raise money for the soldiers then fighting at Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Great War.

Protests were held around the country, including Tasmania.

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Hobart had their largest crowd to date at the protest, with Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre president David Warrener telling the crowd the date was not appropriate and it continued to be a day of invasion. For those objecting to Australia Day celebrations, I encourage you to consider the aforementioned problems and ask yourself: "How will changing the name or the date help those who are suffering most?"

Mundine has recalled that Jan.26 is the day that the British came to invade.

Fifty four percent of Indigenous Australians who participated in McNair yellowSquares national poll believe that the date of Australia Day should be changed. Remember when planning events or engaging with social media: "images and words celebrating the arrival of European culture and people can be deeply offensive to many".

Australia has changed nearly beyond recognition in regard to Aboriginal people in recent years.

But former minister Ian Macfarlane said the date should be changed.

I also call it Australia Day, not as an endorsement of it, but because it reflects what the day represents - the history of Australia is a violent one, there's no denying it! The NADC recognises that some people might have "mixed feelings about celebrating this day", so everyone should work towards being as inclusive as possible.

Others told why they were taking part in the protests.


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