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Byron Shire
May 20, 2022

Changing date ‘the key to national reconciliation’

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NSW Aboriginal Land Council chair Roy Ah-See. Photo courtesy Ourmob

Changing the date of Australia’s national celebration from 26 January is the key to resetting the national reconciliation process, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) said today.

NSWALC chair Roy Ah-See said any celebration of what it means to be Australian must include Australia’s First Peoples.

‘For Aboriginal people, 26 January is an annual reminder of our dispossession, discrimination and exclusion,’ Cr Ah-See said.

‘Every year, a growing number of Australians are also becoming increasingly uneasy about holding a national celebration on 26 January.’

Cr Ah-See said the debate about changing the date would not disappear and he urged political and community leaders to initiate a process towards a more suitable celebration of Australia.

‘You would be hard-pressed to find people more patriotic about Australia than its First Peoples.

‘We’ve cared for this country for more than 60,000 years and we’ve played a major part in Australia’s success.

‘We’re not saying don’t celebrate – we want a celebration but on a day that we can all be comfortable with.

‘Change the date and we’ll be the first to RSVP.’

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  1. What great idea , to celebrate the coming of civilisation to Australia !

    With up to sixty thousand years to practice , the inhabitants managed to discover ,pointy sticks and rocks and with a life expectancy of around thirty years ,if the neighbouring tribe didn’t catch you alone and undefended,it must have been mind blowing to see the scientific advances of Europe and the attendant benefits to life-style. These boons continue to this day in the form of free Toyotas, tinnies and guns to hunt “traditionally”…… critically endangered dugongs,turtles and just about anything in the National Parks.
    Nobody disputes the massive handouts to ‘our first peoples’ and it is only fitting that they come together on Friday to give thanks for the assistance they received from the hands of visitors, who were the subject of the worst atrocities perpetrated on citizens by any European powers, manacled, exiled to the other end of the Planet and often flogged to death for minor slights to their vicious, criminal and also exiled guards who were paid in rum. Nobody thinks the British government were benevolent , they were committing atrocities against their own poor and political prisoners BUT …nothing will change the FACT they arrived here on the 26th of January
    See you there . G”)

  2. The majority of Australians are perfectly happy with Australia Day as it is. It’s only a small band of voluble aboriginal activists who like to stir the pot. They already have plenty of celebratory days of their own –
    Eddie Mabo Day 3 June 2017
    National Apology Day, 13 February 2017
    Harmony Day, 21 March 2017
    National Close the Gap Day, 16 March 2017
    National Sorry Day, 26 May 2017
    National Reconciliation Week, 27 May – 3 June 2017
    National NAIDOC Week, 2 – 9 July 2017
    National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, 4 August 2017
    International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, 9 August 2017

    Leave Australia day alone for once!

  3. Why is there such an emphasis on “Celebration” ? Remember, Aboriginal activists, in 1938, marked Jan 26 as a “Day of Mourning”. Why can’t a national day be focused on “Reflection” ? That requires Integrity though; something that is lacking in Australian public institutions at the moment. The true History, regarding Occupation, needs to truthfully taught in schools and projected through Media. That’s never happened. That needs to change, point blank. Australians also need a Media that has Integrity. At the moment most channels are Capitalist supporters and apologists. Today I’ll reflect on lots of things; my environment , my Community, my physical inputs, my relations with First Nation’s peoples, my working conditions, the face that is Oz Politricks, Homelessness etc. Some of it will be make me feel good, some of it not so. So, for me it will be about Reflection. And getting on with being a healthy, aware sentient being.

  4. Yes, these are my thoughts and feelings as well. Thank you for expressing it so succinctly and clearly.

    The time has come for conscious inclusive choices about how we create the types of communities we deeply long for. ‘Heaven’ can be here if we decide to encourage and support that.

    Peace is for everyone, the earth is for everyone, caring is for everyone, thriving is for everyone, and we all can contribute and play our part.

  5. No matter date you cannot change history
    This we know
    Would not make any difference even if it was called shame day.
    If this never happened in the world their would not be roads houses dole
    Food at supermarkets e!ectricty gas housing as we know it or the money wasted on native cokrps that should go direst to the tribes they used to belong to
    Any third generation mixed bloods can not claim this day as have accepted moved day hand outs and living conditions
    More money the right hands for housing and their aging population would be better spent this way
    Mines should not be able to mine on any claimed land that still have true blood families living on
    Support the genuine not the hangerons

  6. History has always been about the question of whose point of view, I mean between whatever modern view prevails and what prevailed in those times. I like many were happy when the word ‘reconciliation’ first arose, a time to redress past wrongs and move on. Now it’s a process that needs resetting. Sounds like gumph to me. I wonder what the future in 200 years will see our now is. I see petty squabbling and lots of division, mainly created for political purposes. Of course in 200 Years you might have to read our history in Indonesian or Chinese.

  7. None of the most recent tribes have been her 60,000 years. The race has been here this long, like any race has been on this earth as long, all, with changing languages, histories.

  8. Ok maybe I’m improvising (dgangapurri?). We habe a British Westminster parliamentary system, British jurisprudence including Common Law, and of course the language. If there is to be a Treaty, what stays and what goes? I cannot see anything apart from this in what is a psychological wanr said and done. Prostestations. Continuing policy. The gradual unpinning. And the consistent opposition. Like I said before we might need each other in the future, hopefully not before it’s too late.

  9. Correction: gayakan in yulu or djapangarri. As taken fron Treaty, yes words can be cheap, they ate also all we have, deciding amongst them.

  10. …‘You would be hard-pressed to find people more patriotic about Australia than its First Peoples…

    Yes, but not so on-board with the Western culture, there is the rub!

  11. As well educated indigenous leaders such as Jacinta and Warren have stated, the changing of the date does nothing to address the real problems. Unfortunately the Greens are using it as part of their narrative, because they have no idea on how to address the bigger problems. The Greens are using Indigenous brothers and sisters to try and gain some traction in the political market, as they were quickly losing any relevance to Australia.

    The 26th can be used as a time to both recognise and mourn our lost brothers and sisters, whilst also celebrating the fact we live in the best country in the world. There is a reason people choose to come to our country, they feel safe and we have freedoms other countries can only dream of. Despite what some will tell you, everyone can make it. Everyone has a chance.

    It is also sad that some of our brothers and sisters choose to ignore their European heritage and only acknowledge their Aboriginal Heritage, like Tarneen Onus Williams. Both cultures make these people who they are today, celebrate both cultures. Unfortunately Tarneen has decided to follow the path of being controversial, to simply increase her social media followers. It is sad she has chose a path of a Green lapdog in order to try and get some relevance.

    No one denies the tragedies that occurred, and I for one believe this should be taught to every child at school. We need to acknowledge these tragedies, they did happen. I think people understanding what has happened, and being educated on what happened, is how we start healing as a nation. Education is the solution. It will allow every Australian to embrace this wonderful culture, and for everyone no matter what background, to celebrate our Indigenous heritage.

    Unfortunately the Greens have decided to go down the path of division, and backed those inciting violence. They do this to try and distract people from the fact they have nothing to offer Australia. They have fueled division. Not only White against Black but also Black against Black. It is because our country allows such freedom for people to express their opinions that this has happened. How ironic!!!!


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