Essay On Changing Australia Day

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Australia Day is a national holiday that commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet on January 26, 1788. The celebration of this date has been a debated issue between the Indigenous community and conservative Australians, though the debate is not exclusively limited to the two groups. For many Indigenous Australians, January 26 marks the beginning of a long history of colonization, frontier violence, and the removal of children from their families, known as the Stolen Generation. The traumas from the past still affect Indigenous communities today. Celebrating the day as a national holiday shows a lack of respect for the struggles of the Indigenous people. Therefore, changing the date of Australia Day is seen by many as a necessary step …show more content…

The arrival of the First Fleet marked the beginning of a long history of violence. For example, the Myall Creek Massacre of 1838, in this incident a group of white settlers murdered 28 Aboriginal men, women, and children in cold blood. The culprits were eventually brought to justice. Two trials took place, with the first declaring the group innocent. However, through the insistence of Attorney-General John Plunkett, a second trial found seven of the 11 men guilty. This was the first group of European settlers that were persecuted for their crimes. ‘It was the first time the colonial administration intervened to ensure Aboriginals and settlers involved in frontier violence were treated equally’. The Myall Creek massacre and the trial following the event had a great effect on the outside settlers and their dealing of the indigenous people throughout all sides of the colonial front. ‘The controversy surrounding the execution heightened racial tensions and hardened settlers’ attitudes towards the Aboriginal people’. This event did not change the settler’s attitude towards the violence committed all over the country. To celebrate the date is a reminder for the Indigenous people of the violence and trauma they have received at the hands of the colonisers that arrived on January …show more content…

Changing the date may leave the ceremony feeling disingenuous as it is not on the traditional date. The citizenship ceremony represents Australia's commitment to diversity. Therefore, if any changes are proposed for Australia Day's date, the importance of the citizenship ceremony must be considered. There are many reasons why this argument isn’t a tangible debate for not changing the date of Australia day While the citizenship ceremony is an important event that takes place on Australia Day, this does not mean that the date should not be changed. It is possible to find alternative dates for the citizenship ceremony that could be just as meaningful for those who participate in it. The importance of the ceremony can’t be used as a reason to ignore the concerns of Indigenous Australians, who see the current date as a day of mourning. The best alternative date would be September 17 as it is already recognised as the Australian Citizenship Day. The day would be just as significant to the participants as it is already the day chosen to celebrate and recognise the citizens of Australia whether born into the citizenship or acquired over

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