I do understand both sides of the debate over Australia Day. When the First Fleet sailed into Port Jackson the lives and lands of the Indigenous Australians changed forever. A day of loss.
And the same for the convicts of the First Fleet, who were not in Australia by choice. Many of them would never see their homeland and loved ones again. A day of loss for them as well.
I don’t think that changing the date of Australia Day is the answer. The day is what it is.
But, why can we not begin the day commemorating and remembering the losses sustained? Then, we can move on to celebrating where we are today. And perhaps we can also incorporate a look at where we want to be in the future and how best to achieve that?
A little bit like, dare I say it, Anzac Day?
We begin the day remembering and commemorating those who served, and returned, and those who did not. Then, after the march, we tend to celebrate who we were – two up and the like.
Australia Day could be the same. Commemorate. Celebrate. Contemplate.