A national day for all of us: Australians’ Day

Dulong Lookout near Nambour in QLD. Photo by Andy Hay. Used with cc 2.0.

Christine Bennett is a non-Indigenous senior citizen. She holds community classes in yoga and pilates, and lives in Nambour, QLD, within the Gubbi Gubbi region.

It is well beyond time to acknowledge the reality of our nation’s history: that to the first peoples of Australia, January 26 is a painful reminder of the invasion of their lands and the onset of the Frontier Wars and massacres, the dispossession of their forefathers and the oppression of their families.

Generations of Aboriginal children have been scattered and lost … disconnected from all that had meaning in their lives. The effect of this past mistreatment of Indigenous peoples continues to this day and it is starkly reflected by holding the celebration on 26th January.

We must now act to acknowledge the resilience and resistance of First Peoples in the face of that invasion, and their ongoing survival as one of the oldest living cultures on the planet. It is time to move on from the colonial attitudes of the past and to recognise that this date is a day that cannot unify our nation.

It is time to fully comprehend what 26 January means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and to rewrite the future. We need a new day … a day that can be celebrated by all Australians: a day that respects the First Australians of our nation.

I support the move to a date that all Australians can enjoy and that celebrates the people of our nation: let’s call it Australians’ Day.

National Indigenous Times welcomes letters to the editor. Please send through to Madelaine at editor@nit.com.au

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