Next weekend we celebrate Australia’s National Day and, as we plan our return home I am thinking a little about this occasion and it’s meaning for me.
In my opinion Australia Day should be a celebration of our unity as a nation and a time when we reflect on and recognise how lucky we are to be able to live in the lucky country.
Sadly I see many posts on social media sites that this is not universally the case. In fact, sadly, our national day is for many an excuse to celebrate illegal white occupation of the continent, and to make bigoted, often ignorant comments about the latest tranch of hopeful immigrants coming to our shores, many seeking safe harbour from persecution in their own lands.
Is it right to have the day on the anniversary of white occupation? especially now that as a nation we recognise that our original occupation under the international law of Terra Nullius was illegal. Seems just a tad insensitive and inflammatory.
And what if we are not, as a nation, unified? This is clearly the fact as there are strong polarised opinions on so many issues in Australia.
Then our national day, supported by appropriate events should aim at recognising the importance of our right to disagree and to identify and amplify what is IS common amongst us and why we should be proud of it.
Perhaps this is why so many Australian celebrate the day by exercising their right to be bombastic and fueling this with that great social leveller… a cold beer.