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Byron Shire
July 28, 2021

Invasion Day: local mob head to Canberra

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Local mob beginning their journey to Canberra to protest Invasion Day. Photo supplied.

To protest Invasion Day a convoy set out from the northern rivers on Wednesday heading to Canberra to make their point that January 26 doesn’t celebrate all Australians.

‘A bunch of the local mob are driving to Canberra to protest,’ said Mullum local Murray Bickley (AKA Muzz) who is leading the convoy in his truck.

Half way there! Four cars and a truck are taking 25 of the local mob to Canberra to protest Invasion Day. Photo supplied.

Four cars and a truck are taking 25 people to Canberra to join the national protest that marks Invasion Day highlighting that for many people this is not a time of celebration but a time of mourning.

Change the date

Local Arakwal representative Delta Kay is also calling for the date of Australia Day to be moved. Ms Kay has spoken out and suggested the actual day that Australia was created by becoming a Federation, January 1, 1901, is a more appropriate day to celebrate.

This was supported by local Greens MP Tamara Smith who points out that, ‘Celebrating the anniversary of the British empire’s invasion of Australia is for many people both cruel and ironic. Cruel because it is the date that the fiction of terra nullius was written into our history books and inscribed upon the lives of Aboriginal people

‘Far from “land belonging to no one” just under 1 million Aboriginal people lived, loved and called Australia home in 1788. It is an ironic celebration because it only speaks to some Australians.

‘The date for Australia Day has changed several times but conservative politicians would have us believe it is unmoveable and that to even have the conversation about what rings true for all who live and love here is un-Australian,’ she said.

‘Blackmailing councils and mayors who want to hold citizenship ceremonies on a day that isn’t painful and insensitive flat lines any chance of a national debate on the things that matter to us all.

‘We need a Treaty for Aboriginal people and self-determination now and changing the date is the first step.’

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  1. Terra nullius, literally land with no people, actually land with no central government as was understood at the time, fairly closely. What is to be this self determination? The abs have no people elected to represent all of them, so it would not be a democracy, the political bods are flat out representing their own tribes let alone the differences across the country. And no Australia prior to colonisation, some alliances, some shared histories, some trade routes, but no knowledge of the country as a whole. Be honest, some of our peoples want as much as they can get, money and land, and that’s fair enough, we all want that or some configuration of that, a fair go for all. We change the date and the argument moves to its next point, like in a game of chess. This is political handstanding at its worst because there’s no honesty about it, just psychology. Many of my people were from Ireland which had its own issues. Can we have Ballarat?


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