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March 5, 2021

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Keith Duncan, Pimlico

To Geoff Baker, Byron Bay: that ordeal in Uganda must have been one hell of an experience for you, but you now live in a country that has had a violent colonial past towards its original inhabitants, although arguably not to the extremes of Idi Amin.

Maybe you should acknowledge that and consider the feelings of Australia’s Indigenous population before you indulge in a petty whinge about the date Australia Day is celebrated on. And to be more specific, there was no Australia until 1 January 1901, so don’t be fooled by our new motor-mouthed PM. He talks non-stop and says virtually nothing. I think that after 117 years we have grown up sufficiently to have an intelligent conversation on what day ALL Australians can celebrate Australia Day.


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1 COMMENT

  1. We only know that Australia “… has had a violent colonial past towards its original inhabitants”ecause the coloniial Australians kept better records – offical and private – than had ever been kept by any society, and so we do have a good record of murders, including those by and of aboriginals and settlers. The statement ignores that there is no evidence that has shown that the rate of violence against aboriginals was greater in the colonial period than before 26 January 1788, nor evidence that the settler community was responsible for most violence agianst aboriginal people. Capital and corporal punishment which were prevelant in both the convict and pre-contact aboriginal societies became very limited over the 19c, inftantacide and senicide were treated as murder, and Australia became one of the most law abiding and safe countries of any time.

    Among people who identify as indigenous just over half want to change the date (and that does not count Australians of indigenous background who do not identify as such). Doing so would offend the many Australians who want to remember the contribution our indigneous and settler anscestors made to making colonial Australia a safer and a more prosperous place , and they know that that nation building began on 26 January 1788.

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