Showing national pride on Australia Day has suddenly become ‘uncool’ as backlash against January 26 goes mainstream.
Not long ago, Australia Day inspired an outpouring of national pride across the country – think sun-drenched images of Aussies feasting on beaches with flags over their shoulders.
But as ordinary Australians continue to celebrate their national holiday, they largely keep it ‘in the house’ and out of social media, which has become a minefield of outrage and hatred from both sides of the debate.
Nightly news reports on Tuesday again led with ugly scenes of protest marches from Brisbane to Melbourne and beyond.
Protesters in Melbourne marched in an Invasion Day protest on Australia Day to showcase British colonization
The flags of Australia could still be seen on the Gold Coast on Tuesday
Australia wasn’t a dirty word on Wave Break Island on Australia Day. There were several scenes in cities elsewhere
Hundreds of thousands together proclaimed the national holiday that has fallen since 1994 on the day the First Fleet arrived on our shores.
While many Australians have come up with the idea of scrapping the January 26 holiday, it is feared that shifting the day to another will make no difference to the land’s traditional owners.
Australian actress and Indigenous activist Natasha Wanganeen told Daily Mail Australia those fears were justified.
Ms. Wanganeen is known for starring in the 2002 feature film Rabbit Proof Fence when she was 15, but has become a powerful voice against racism and injustice against her people.
“The government of this country and the politicians of every state must make up with the indigenous people and start correcting the mistakes,” she said on Wednesday.
‘Our kids are still locked up at 10 am – until then I don’t know if there is a day you could celebrate this country when it locks 10-year-old children.
‘I don’t know if there will be a day when my people go to jail and they don’t get out – they come out in body bags. I don’t know if we can celebrate a day when the police still shoot 19-year-old Aboriginal boys, handcuffed, in the back, on traditional land, when they shouldn’t even be there. ‘
The country’s hunger for an overtly traditional celebration, complete with Australian flags and boxing kangaroos, has diminished sharply in recent years.
Natasha Wanganeen believes a new Australia Day cannot be found until the nation has righted all its mistakes against its people
People gather during the Invasion Day protest in Melbourne on Tuesday
The case to change Australia Day
Australian actress and Indigenous activist Natasha Wanganeen said politicians need the courage to lead the nation in the right direction.
Look at the citizen test online – they still have the question of which country the Aborigines migrated from to come to Australia.
‘That is absolute nonsense. We’ve been here for over 200,000 years – longer than that … so it’s insulting that the government still has that up there to teach immigrants that we’re not from here. ‘
Ms. Wanganeen said that the men and youth of her people still had the highest suicide rate in the world.
“Our women go to prison and look Tasered in the eye and get killed for not being looked after.”
“So many things need to change and if we had a government brave enough to do that, I would absolutely support it.”
Triple J announced three years ago that it would no longer hold the radio’s iconic countdown on January 26, stating that it should become an event that “everyone can enjoy.”
Cricket Australia also made headlines after announcing this summer that it would refer to the holiday as ‘January 26’ celebrations and not Australia Day.
Pubs, supermarkets and even sports clubs have largely turned their backs on what once would have been traditional Australia Day festivities.
Even Australian celebs have turned their backs on the day, with Hollywood hunk Liam Hemsworth uploading an image of the Aboriginal flag on Tuesday under the banner: ‘Always Was, Always Will Be.’
It was a chant heard loudly in cities across Australia on Tuesday by protesters young and old.
Ms. Wanganeen said another day to celebrate Australia is still achievable.
“ I’d love to celebrate this country for what I see and for what I know it is, but it’s hard to do that when the politicians and the government have so many things they need to fix for my 10-year-old daughter to be safe. are in her own country, on her own land, ”she said.
On Wednesday, NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham refuted the suggestion that Australia Day was dead and buried.
“The number of people looking to change the day is a tiny minority in any poll – even that of left-wing pollsters,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham claims Australia Day should be celebrated on January 26
The flag will be hoisted over a boat on the Gold Coast on Tuesday
Emmanuelle Conde (formerly from France) gestures to his daughter Madeline during an Australia Day Citizenship event at Woollahra Council Chambers on January 26 in Sydney
Why Australia Day should stay on January 26th
NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham said calls to “ correct the mistakes ” had already been answered.
There was a 50-year campaign to establish land rights in Australia. That should have been the savior and fix a lot of problems and correct a lot of mistakes. ‘
The 1992 Mabo decision established the national land rights regime – and there is also a very generous land rights regime.
But that didn’t close the gap. That has ended the misery of indigenous remote communities. That is not the end of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, social assistance dependency or drug and alcohol abuse.
So it’s almost a broken promise. We were told … that the land rights regime would be the answer to all these problems and before that there was a long-term call for more money to be spent on indigenous affairs.
“And governments have done that to the point that we spend twice as much per capita on Aboriginal Australians than on non-Aboriginal people.”
“The majority of Australians recognize that the very best things in our country – the houses we live in, the engineering, the architecture, the technology, the health system, the education system, the transportation system … all of these things came in 1788.”
Mr. Latham claimed that January 26 should be the right time to celebrate Australia Day.
“Even Cricket Australia didn’t want to celebrate its own birthday yesterday – the concept that cricket arrived in Australia 233 years ago,” he said.
If you’re not celebrating the very best things that came to your country on your national holiday, then you’re not really a country.
And in terms of the bad things that have happened, and some bad things have happened, well, people think about that. In my family and household we reflect on the wide range of Australian history on Australia Day. So nobody sweeps things under the rug. ‘
Mr Latham said he was shown “a lot” of patriotism yesterday, despite the racist stigma displayed by political parts of the left.
‘People sent me pictures of their kids waving the Australian flag, a guy around the corner had his house decorated with Australian flags – Australians are generally not great fanfare patriots like the Americans, but in their own, quiet methodical way think a vast majority of Australians love Australia Day, ”he said.