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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Page MP says he will hold his own Aust Day ceremony

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Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals). Photo Tree Faerie
Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals). Photo Tree Faerie

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said he would hold his own Australia Day Citizenship and Awards Ceremony in Lismore if the Lismore City Council council scraps Australia Day celebrations on January 26.

At its last meeting, the council passed a motion from Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins to lobby the Federal Government and local members to change the date of Australia Day. The motion passed 7-3, with Crs Greg Bennett, Nancy Casson, and Gianpiero Battista voting against.

Cr Ekins also wanted the council to identify more appropriate dates for citizenship ceremonies, and to work toward culturally inclusive Australia Day celebrations.

‘Although Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 first fleet’s arrival in Botany Bay this date is known to many Australians as Invasion Day and Survival Day,’ Cr Ekins argues.

‘The 26 January only became a national holiday in 1994 (younger than the hottest 100) and changing the date will be a significant symbolic act.

‘If Australia Day is a day for all Australians, let’s choose a day when all Australians can celebrate.

She  suggested May 8. To find out why, watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tV57_pRGToU’

But Mr Hogan has issued a statement saying ‘I don’t support changing the date for Australia Day’..

‘I will hold my own Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on the 26th of January if Lismore City Council changes the date.

‘Australia Day is a wonderful day of celebration for our country. It is a day we acknowledge the First Australians and their wonderful history and spiritual connection to our land. It is also a day we celebrate the successful multicultural society we are.

‘Wrongs have been done, but the day is a celebration of all that we have to be grateful for.”

Melbourne decision

Lismore’s bid to change Australia Day follows a decision by the Yarra City Council in Melbourne to to move its traditional citizenship and citizen-of-the-year award ceremonies from January 26 to another date out of respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It will also cease to refer to January 26 as Australia Day and officially join the change-the-date campaign in its publications and social media.The move by the Greens-dominated council angered Canberra, which on Wednesday stripped the power of Yarra Council officers to hold a citizenship ceremony at any time of the year.

Yarra Mayor Amanda Stone says the council does not believe it is in breach of the citizenship ceremonies code and is seeking a meeting with the government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the council’s decision to change the way it commemorates the day was “utterly out of step” with Australian values.

‘On Australia Day, we recognise the greatness of our achievement as Australians,’ Mr Turnbull said in parliament on Wednesday.

‘To change the date would be to turn our back on Australian values.’

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  1. To change the date would be to turn our back on the values of those white australians who aren’t concerned or shamed by Australia’s notorious history of cultural genocide. Turning our backs on that, I’m comfortable with!

  2. My reading and comprehension of this article just then .. the words of Page MP’s seem quiet “stuburn and childish” in regards to acknowledging the request for changing the date of Australia Day Celebrations from January 26th, due to the hurt this day creates among all the Traditional Owners of this Land in which we stand.. and all who share and support their loss. Let’s all understand that hurt that came when the first white man arrived and claimed this land for “the mother country” to use for convicts and to slowly destroy the past Ancient History along with the first Peoples of this Land who look after with respect for future generations. Let’s all do that for the generations to follow in our footsteps together.

  3. Many people recognise that a form of cultural genocide occurred after January 1788, but also recognise it was the point when modern Australia based on British government began. It is possible to recognise what was wrong but also to be proud of what our British ancestors built – and I note that most indigenous people are also have British backgrounds. The building of new lives by criminals is in particular a truly remarkable achievements that should never be forgotten. It might be more appropriate to celebrate 1 January as the founding day of out modern Australia – at least the ultra-nationalists will be too hungover to have the energy to co-opt it for their tawdry cause – but we should still retain 26 January as a public holiday, at the very least in NSW.


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