Instead of a day that unites people, Australia Day has become a day to divide Australians. So, why do Australians want to change Australia Day?
The History Of The 26th January – Australia Day
The 26th of January in 1788 is the day the Great Britain empire officially occupied Australia. It was also the day the First Fleet arrived on the continent. First Fleet is a convoy of 11 vessels carrying convicts at Port Jackson, New South Wales.
The initial name of this day was Foundation Day. 50 years after the arrival of the First Fleet, the Australian government changed its name to Australia’s First Public Holiday in New South Wales.
And by 1935, the 26th of January was officially known as Australia Day in every state, except NSW. In 1994, the whole nation celebrated this day as a public holiday.
Why Do Some People Want To Change The Date?
To Indigenous Australians, also known as “First Nations” or “First Australians”, Australia Day is “Invasion Day”. They have lived for more than 65,000 years in freedom and without foreign interference. But until January 26, their culture was destroyed by the whites.
And in fact, the arrival of the British on the continent caused the population of Indigenous Australians to decrease significantly. It was all because of the mass slayings, the spread of disease, and the loss of food sources and traditional lands.
At that time, and even in present-day Australia, indigenous Australians are treated like they are low-class citizens. They have a lower expectation of life, quite worse health, and have to face a greater possibility of incarceration.
According to the advocates of altering the date, it’s disrespectful to the First Australians when celebrating the downfall of their inhabitants. And it’s even more hurtful that they’ve lost their culture forever while seeing us happily celebrate the holiday.
What Do The Aussies Want? – Australia Day
A Newspoll survey carried out in 2004 asked if they should turn Australia Day into another day that is not relevant to any European settlement day. The outcomes showed that only about 15% preferred the change, and 6% were uncertain. The majority, 79% of respondents preferred no change
A 2017 survey conducted by The Guardian showed that more than half of Australians oppose the change of anything, especially Australia Day.
Another survey by The Australia Institute indicated that just 38% of answerers knew exactly the First Fleet event on the 26th of January.
These outcomes above may be the reason why so many Australians find it no need to change Australia Day.
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