Always was, Always will be, Invasion Day
It really does not matter how we dress the 26th of January up. We can have our concerts, welcome newcomers, feel good about our national achievements, our mateship during crisis, and when the country needs the nation to support the Australian dream. But the 26th of January will forever, in the minds of First Nations people of this country, be Invasion Day. We used to know the day as sorry day, a day of mourning.
January 26, 1788 was the date on which Captain Arthur Phillip came and stole the land, as the traditional owners looked on. He called the place New South Wales. After 102 years of plundering the assets of the Aborigines and the tribes decimated by small pox. They called the day the ‘First Landing’, ‘Anniversary Day’ or ‘Foundation Day‘. I still recall it being called foundation day when I went to school even though in 1946 the Commonwealth and State governments agreed to unify the celebrations on January 26 as ‘Australia Day’. The day became a public holiday in 1818.
To many Indigenous peoples there is little to celebrate and it is a commemoration of a deep loss. Loss of their sovereign rights to their land, loss of family, loss of the right to practice their culture. Aboriginal people call it ‘Invasion Day‘, ‘Day of Mourning‘, ‘Survival Day‘ or, since 2006, ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day‘. The latter name reflects that all Aboriginal nations are sovereign and should be united in the continuous fight for their rights.
As a consequence Australia Day is disputed and many Australians call for a new day which all Australians could celebrate. Some suggest renaming Australia Day to ‘Arrival Day’.
Me I prefer a day many Australians don’t even know exists. National Wattle Day is celebrated throughout Australia on the 1st September each year. The day was originally conceived as a day to demonstrate patriotism for the new nation of Australia by wearing a sprig of wattle. National Wattle Day gives us a chance to demonstrate our collective pride in all things Australian, including all things Aboriginal.
For me and many more, we will not even turn the TV on today, we can no longer go down to those sacred grounds, and look at people wrapped in a British Flag. Wake up Australia, don’t tell Aboriginal Australia to move on.
Its about time you, and the nation moved on and thought for itself, where it wants to be and not kowtow to a British flag and not let the media run the country. Parker Bowles is your next Queen, the Barmy Army told you that, hahahahahahahahhahahahaha. Bring it on, we will still be here in another 40.000 years and we still will call it Invasion Day.