Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Australians, wherever you are.Australian aborigine, this was an event that eventually led to the destruction of their way of life, and many, many deaths among their people. In protest, there are many aborigines who call the day Invasion Day, and mark it as a day of mourning.
I believe most Australians are proud to be Australian. It would be wonderful if we had a day that we could all celebrate that pride, but change doesn’t happen easily. A few alternative dates have been suggested, but none have received unanimous approval. A poll was conducted in 2004, asking if the date of Australia Day should be moved to one that is not associated with European settlement. The results show my thinking is in the minority – 79 per cent of respondents favoured no change, 15 per cent favoured change and 6 per cent were uncommitted.
So, with no other option, I choose to celebrate this day despite it’s origins. Instead, I see it as a day to take pride in my country, rather than a day of commemoration for an event that I had no control over. As the day falls in the Australian summer, it is an ideal time for big outdoor, public events with the obligatory fireworks, but many Australians celebrate with friends, having a BBQ, a drink, a yarn and a laugh.
The following link is to a song that has pulled my heartstrings for the last ten years. To me, it is what being Australian is all about:
On my recent visit home, I was disappointed to discover Qantas no longer play this just before touch down in Australia. It used to be the favourite part of the flight home.