I am Australian…I was born here as were my parents, their parents and their parents before that.
My husband is first generation Australian…his parents were born in England…but he is also a proud Australian, just like me.
We love our country and can’t imagine living anywhere else…
Tomorrow is Australia Day….the 26th January.
It used to be a date to celebrate all things Australian…except now it’s not.
Because there is so much trouble in the past that makes it wrong.
The date itself is the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales.
Which means there is no recognition of the native landowners who were here long before Australia was “discovered” by explorers.
Plus on the other side of the coin, we are now a very multicultural country, and that adds a whole new level to Australia Day with our newest residents from all over the world.
Does the fact that they are new to our shores make them less Australian, and therefore not be able to acknowledge their new home?
Some people think so.
I am proud to be an Australian, and actually would like to celebrate my country…the one I was born in and lived all my life.
I want to celebrate with all Australians…old and new…all races, colours and creeds!
But now all I feel is guilty and worried.
Guilty because I am a white female, who needs for nothing…who has never known hardship or what it is like to be exiled.
Who so wishes the wrongs of the past could be made right, even though my family and I have had no direct part in them.
Who wants to be proud of my country and celebrate what is good.
I am worried about what the future holds when everyone seems to be at odds with everyone.
Will the horrors of the past combine with modern day issues and prevent harmony ever being achieved?
Am I the only one that feels like this?
I was even nervous writing these words, in fear I will inadvertently upset someone.
And by putting my thoughts out into the inter webs, I still have absolutely no idea what the solution would be.
There needs to be change but any date would raise objections from one party or another…even the reason of selecting a date would be cause of complaint for some.
Because of past events and the very PC world we live in, it is hard to know how to carefully step through the quagmire.
And changing the date doesn’t change our history.
However, we do live in a great country…yes, there are issues..and boy, there has been some awful ones lately in this city.
But in comparison to other parts of the world, this is paradise…this is Australia.
So how can we embrace everyone and come together as one?
How can we celebrate our future, while respectfully not forgetting our past?
Because I am…you are….we are Australian….and we should be proud!
What are your thoughts on Australia Day? Do you have a suggestion for an alternative?