Michael Trevaskis, Alstonville
Australia appears to be unique among post-colonial nations in that its national holiday, Australia Day, commemorates not its independence from its former colonial masters but the foundation of the first of six British colonies on the Australian continent, the penal colony of New South Wales.
The establishment of an independent Australian nation on 1 January 1901 seems to be all but forgotten in the debate about Australia Day on 26 January. Surely the first of January would be a more appropriate date to celebrate the founding of Australia as an independent federation of former colonies.
Obviously the first of January is already a public holiday. Perhaps there could be another public holiday on the second of January, call it Australia Day or Federation Day, to replace the one on 26 January.
I hope that commemoration of Australia’s independence would be more acceptable to Australia’s Indigenous people than that of the foundation of a British colony and that it would be a truly unifying commemoration rather than the present date of 26 January, which produces so much rancour and disharmony.