While today, the 26th is Australia Day, our public holiday for the day will be on Monday. Double time and a half for me at work on Monday.
Australian Day over the years occupies my thoughts more and more when the day nears. While I was never a 'it must be the 26th or else' person, I have come to think that perhaps the day should be changed, perhaps to May when we don't have a public holiday or perhaps in Spring when public holidays are scarce. I am sure there is something to celebrate in May and we could find something in Spring too.
Here is what I am now thinking. Britain claimed Australia for itself, in spite of there being an Aboriginal population estimated to be 3/4 of a million people. Defence of their land from foreigners was probably not on their minds and they must have been very tempted by bright and shiny things. Our ancestors brought diseases alien to the native population, they encroached further and further on their hunting, fishing and living land. They massacred local Aboriginal populations. The list is almost endless about the wrongs done by the colonialists against the local population. And look at what we have done to country in a little more than 200 years, sent it on the road to ecological and environmental ruin, whereas the Aborigines knew how to work with the land, not against it. Is it any wonder our Aborigines call Australia Day, Invasion Day.
Well, that is what my and perhaps your ancestors did. It wasn't right and no one can argue that it was. But, I am here now and I am not going to go away. It is now my country too. I know no other and I am too born of its soil.
Here is another aspect to it, as in a Tweet I saw. Why do we celebrate the day of claiming Australia as a prison island of Britain?
I really do think the date of the 26th of January is anachronistic for we newer inhabitants of our continent, and offensive to those who were here for hundreds of thousand years.
Nevertheless, a very Happy Australia Day to you, and happy Indian Republic Day to those here and on the subcontinent. Indians are a pretty good fit in Australia.
No info available to credit the photo.