The date of January 26 is a contentious and contested in Australia where for some it celebrates nationhood and for others (the Indigenous and Aboriginal Australians) it is a day of mourning. January 26 is Australia Day and Invasion Day.
As an outsider keen on learning about Australian culture, the month of January is an annual refresher to the many cultures down under, a history both recent and ancient. There is a difference between celebration and commemoration and we lean toward commemoration when it comes to the founding of nations where due respect was not given from the start. We cannot change the past, but we can remember and ackowledge the meaning beyond patriotic jingoism.
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Elsewhere on the Web: Colonial Frontier Massacres
Colonial Frontier Massacres website at the University of Newcastlecastle – @uni_newcastle
The Killing Times – Guardian – This is a map of sites where violence occurred on the Australian frontier. This site does not contain images of people who have died. However, the historical records reproduced here use archaic terms that are offensive, and the themes and content within will be distressing to many people. Discretion is advised.
January 26 became the Australia Day public holiday in 1994. Before 1994 Australia Day was moved around the final week of January to give everyone a long weekend.
This history of Australia Day – As a national public holiday, Australia Day is a relatively new achievement — it wasn’t until the mid 1990s that all Australians began getting a day off on January 26. It also turns out the debate about whether the date should be changed is not new — it began in the late 1930s.
Australia Day, should the date be moved? Indigenous perspectives – Is having the national day on the anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788 insensitive to Indigenous people?Alice Springs Councillor Jacinta Price, and author and former footballer Joe Williams discuss whether changing the date helps the plight of Aboriginal Australians.
“There is hurt”: Parliament’s first Aboriginal minister on Australia Day debate – Indigenous frontbencher Ken Wyatt says Australia should wait to be a republic before changing the date of Australia Day.
Australia Day is a contentious day for many. Here are the events being held on January 26
ABC drops reference to Invasion Day after minister criticises ‘incorrect’ use
‘This is the only way we can respond’: Brisbane Invasion Day rally expected to draw thousands
How to talk about not celebrating Australia Day – Triple J
How Christians can unpack the baggage of colonialism this Australia Day
What flag are you waving?