Indigenous Australians

The hijacking of our national day

For those who do not know, tomorrow is Australia Day, a national holiday commemorating the landing of the First Fleet in 1788. A day which should be used for harmony, and celebration, unfortunately has been increasingly hijacked by the Left, who seek to not only degrade and destroy our national day, but more broadly discredit any existing patriotism within our great country. This utter rejection of our country, which disgustingly comes from within and amongst those who enjoy its benefits, manifests itself in the terming of Australia Day as ‘Invasion day’. I have an informative article which discusses this misleading and disengenious framing of our national day, which I intend to put up some time later, however for now, I will discuss part of why I personally reject this narrative.

Describing the landing of the First Fleet as invasion day, implies that on the 26th of January 1788, aggressive hostilities commenced against the native population. It suggests that Britain arrived with a substantial military force, whose immediate goals were to conquer and plunder its way through all of Australia. Yet, sending 1000 convicts, to serve their time as convicts in a foreign land, is hardly an organized invasion. There were no initial attempts on this day or in the decades that followed, to subdue local Indigenous populations, that were sanctioned by the empire, or any other authority.

‘Invasion day’, depicts a united Indigenous Australia, besieged by white settlement from 1788 onwards. However, such a portrayal of history borders on propaganda. The truth is that Aboriginals were split into hundreds of clans and tribes at the time of 1788, and many parts of Australia were far from colonized. For instance, the beginning of settlement began in Western Australia during 1829, a huge 41 year gap between the First Fleet’s landing in 1788.

This rejection of Australia day from elements of some Indigenous communities, reveal that for some, there is an endless list of requests and desires, which will only be fully achieved if the much desired time came that non- Aboriginals left the land now known as Australia. After previous injustices, Aboriginals won their right to vote, as well as the full Australian citizenship. The Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 overturned much of the systemic economic and social discrimination directing wards Indigenous peoples. In 1992, Mabo v Queensland overturned the legal doctrine of terra- nullius (nobody’s land), and paved the way for Native Title. In 2008, Kevin Rudd apologized on behalf of the Australian government, for the stated Stolen Generation among other past crimes. All of these changes have been made, which supposedly would improve racial harmony and heal the wounds of the past. 

Instead, the circumstances that surround 2016, are growing bitter and resentful feelings toward the Australian state and government, which is expressed through opposition to Australia Day. Undoubtedly, this is a difficult and pressing issue that is far from solved. Yet, to acknowledge the truth about Australia Day, and discuss more realistic positions about the state of Indigenous affairs, may be a useful start in unraveling these generational old grievances and issues.

 

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