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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Australians all let us change the date

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Janice Best, Brunswick Heads

I can’t believe this is an issue: How can people be getting upset about the change of date? First Nations people are here and still suffering because of that day.

We have a chance to show we care; let’s change the date all over this amazing country. A friend of mine suggested Federation Day as a day of celebration, when Australia became an independent nation – on 1 January 1901 we became a Commonwealth. Now there’s a day to celebrate.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not an Australian so I looked up January 26th 1788.The British planted a flag and declared everything east of the 135th meridian, including NZ, to be called the Colony of NSW. The name Australia was not used until many years later. There were French in Botany bay and later hanging around Perth.
    My question is “Are Darwin and Perth allowed to celebrate Australia or Colony of NSW day”? They weren’t part of the starting squad. How about NZ? Should we have part of Australia Day dedicated to French activities?
    Sorry I just don’t know why January 26th is called Australia Day.

    • And the British only declared ownership to enable the establishment of a penal facility to hold the wretched souls so cruelly transported there. There were no great idealistic notions of nation building or social values. It’s a very silly day to celebrate a national day.

      • Sorry Liz but I must again disagree with your charecterisation of the settlement of NSW. The wretched souls were criminals banished as punishment but transportation and the convict system was not charecrerised by unrellenting cruelty. Although the second fleet led to great loss of life the British quickly improved their management and their excellent logistics meant relatively few died on the ships. The intention was reform and the many convicts quckly given tickets of leave who established families and lives evidences its success . The Britsh quckly put in place the framework for nation building including English law , communication, governance, and financial, records, cadastral and bureacratic systems. The financial and cadastral framework enabled the introdroduction of capital intensive grazing and later mining,which led to the alination of aboriginal land. It should be noted though until the mid 19c aboriginals at the frontier although weakened by disease, were numerically and often militarily stronger, but chose to engage with the new economy and society that offered more reliable food, new housing and other technologies. The shortage of females in particular provided opportunities for aboriginal woman to marry into the new society.

        The convict society was by no means perfect but it laid the basis of modern Australia, by the late 19c one of the safest, most prosperous and least violent places anywhere. To shift Australia Day accepts those histories and commentaries by later free sttlers that focussed on cruelty and conflict as part of those later settlers efforts to distance the society from its origins and it denies the acheivements of convicts, settlers and aboriginal colonials.

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