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With the decision of Fremantle Council to move Australia Day to the 28th, we want to know if you think if this sufficiently answers the Australia Day question.
Australia Day, a day of celebrated conflict will surely meet more conflict with the news that Fremantle Council has moved their local Australia Day “celebrations” to January 28. Mayor Brad Pettitt, in conversation with The West Australian, “We thought it was time to acknowledge it wasn’t a day of celebration for everybody and it was an opportunity for us to come up with a different format on a different day that could be truly inclusive”.
In lieu of Australia Day celebrations, the council will hold a fireworks-free “culturally inclusive” event on January 28. The council was quick to mention its desire not to interfere with existing celebrations on the 26th, hoping merely to offer an “alternative”.
However, within that alternative lies the pickle. The Australia Day question is one with no agreed answer. Some see it as “Invasion Day”, as it marks the start of white colonisation, whereas others merely see it as a celebration of the country that we have become. Both answers are correct and incorrect. Suffice to say that some sort of change has been long walking over this sunburnt land, as earlier in the year, hipster radio demigods Triple J listened, but eventually did not bow toward grouped pressure that desired their The Hottest 100 Australia Day tradition be moved to a different day.
Also on The Big Smoke
- Invasion Day: Let’s rip off the bandage and look at our nation’s wounds
- Australia Day: What makes us Australian?
There is grating criticism of Fremantle’s decision, however, as Dr Robert Isaacs, a member of the stolen generation, and former head of the Australia Day council has railed against the move, claiming that “it doesn’t reflect the views of the community”, before planting “Australia Day is Australia Day”.
That it may very well be.
The over-arching question could also be: if you move the date, would the day still celebrate the origins of this country to an equal amount of those opposed to it? Is it time we scrap the day entirely to focus on a day of healing? Eddie Mabo day? Vincent Lingiari day?
We’d like to know your thoughts on the subject, fair readers. Would you support a nationwide shift of Australia Day to the 28th, or do you believe it an exercise in futility?