So, fellow Aussies, it’s time for celebrations. Australia day is around the corner yet again. Didn’t we just wrap up the new year celebrations? Well, its true; time does fly. Now, most of us are aware of the history behind the celebration of this day. 26th January 1788 marks the arrival of the first fleet of 11 British ships guided by Captain Arthur Phillip carrying convicts to the then New South Wales colony. As the colony prospered, the people started considering 26th Jan as their founding day. Finally, in the year 1818, 26th January was declared as the official national day. In contemporary Australia, this is the day of celebrating the cultural and linguistic diversity of our nation. There are celebrations all across the country with fireworks, concerts, picnics, barbecues, national flag raising and citizenship ceremonies, Australian of the year awards. This day is also an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are to be a part of this beautiful country, to learn from our past and prepare for the future. It is a time to celebrate our democracy and freedom of debate and opinion.
However, for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this day marks the beginning of British colonization leading to the dispossession and marginalization of these indigenous people. For many, this is a day of mourning and they consider January 26 as Invasion Day or Survival Day. The First Nations Peoples faced oppression, genocide, massacres, and many such atrocities for long years after the First Landing. It took 179 years for them to be simply recognized in an Australian Referendum. Hence the now seemingly annual Australia Day debate. Many Australians – both indigenous and non-indigenous feel that they cannot celebrate their national day on a date that marked the commencement of a long history of trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Whatever be the date for celebration, can we in any way reverse two centuries of wrongdoings? I guess not. But we can always cherish, acknowledge and respect our First Nations Peoples and their history. We should recognize the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional custodians of our beautiful country. The Australia Day Council of South Australia has organized Kumangka, Mukapainga, Tampinga – Together, Remember, Recognise at Elder Park (Tarntanya) to thank the Aboriginal people for their contributions to the nation and also to bridge the gaps of understanding between us. As a digital marketing agency operating from Adelaide, SA, we stand with the Australia Day Council and appreciate their efforts to hear the voices of the Kaurna people and to highlight their presence as First Nations People.
Finally from all of us at Save the Robots – Happy Australia Day guys!!