The UnAustralian Australian (or why Jan 26th isn’t worthy of being called Australia Day)

I’m going to make this quick because it’s painful. And I know it’s likely to ruffle a few feathers.

January 26th signifies the day that Western immigration started in this country. The people who lived here at the time had no say in it. My (our) ancestors just lobbed in on their shores with their nasty diseases, their grog and their funny attitudes toward people of darker colour and set up camp. Pioneering? Yes, I suppose they were. Many were also cruel and inhumane and used their self-entitled whiteness as an excuse to run around slaughtering, raping and enslaving other human beings without due recourse.

Is this the event we really want to base our celebration of national pride on?

In the 220 years that followed some things have changed, but the fundamentals haven’t. It’s a bit tragic that we see fit as a nation to dance around wrapped in our flag (another issue of decorum entirely) singing Aussie, Aussie, Aussie Oi Oi Oi on a day that many Australian’s see as signifying the beginning of the demise of their culture and loss of their freedom. To celebrate the day our people lost their identity, language, self-respect isn’t Australian. There are plenty of words to describe it, but Australian isn’t one of them.

I’m not against celebrating being a part of this great nation. I love it here so much I feel no need to travel far beyond it’s beautiful boundaries. I love the diversity of it, the expanse of it, the irony of it. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating national pride – I just don’t think we should be doing it on January 26th.
So today, Australia Day 2013, I’m not celebrating at all. Which, to me, seems the most Australian thing I can do.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leah
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:57:49

    No feathers ruffled here Kate, I agree with you 100% and use the opportunity when someone dares says “Happy Australia Day ” to say the same.


  2. Colleen Power
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 07:51:48

    I’m with you all the way Kate xx


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