As a kid growing up I was constantly told the story of how my ancestor Henry Cable carried Captain Arthur Philip ashore once the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove on the 26th of January 1788. I was told this story with pride and would share it with my friends feeling oh so proud of my heritage.
Now, I no longer feel this way. I feel guilt and shame.
That day which we now call “Australia Day” is a day that marks the beginnings of the oppression and countless unforgivable crimes committed against our nations native people. Within these communities Australia Day is known as Invasion Day and in my opinion, rightly so.
Am I against celebrating our great nation once a year? No, absolutely not. I’m proud to call myself an Aussie. However, as an Aussie I want to show true mateship. I think it’s vital to show mateship to those who came before us. To those who cared for and cherished our great land for tens of thousands of years before we even hit our shores.
I want to celebrate Australia. But I want to celebrate Australia with respect for our indigenous people. I want to celebrate it on a day of inclusiveness and not on a day that causes so much sorrow within our communities.
The Commonwealth of Australia was established on the 1st of January 1901. On this date we became our own independent nation. Now, I think that celebrating our great nation on this day would be so wonderful. I hope you might consider this to be a good idea too.
Although Henry Cable (or Kable, people refer to him as both but my relatives come from the “C” line. You can google him and see the life he and his wife Susanna lived) allowed me to exist and be born here in Australia I believe that with what we all know now it is absolutely necessary to change the date.
Believe it or not; all Aussies came here on boats (that essay is for another day) and we are an awesome melting pot of a nation full of different heritages and cultures. Why do we not want to allow our indigenous people to feel included in the celebration of our country? Let us all celebrate Australia without it affecting any of our citizens in a negative manner. Let’s change the date!