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The Great Australia Day Debate: Pauline Hanson on why Australia Day should not be changed

 The Great Australia Day Debate: Pauline Hanson on why Australia Day should not be changed

Pauline Hanson, Senator and Leader of the One Nation far-right political party in Australia, has claimed that offering to give them a day other than 26 January as a public holiday for the Australian Aboriginal population won’t change anything.
This statement was in response to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s suggestion that Australia should celebrate Indigenous Aboriginals another day, not 26 January, as another token gesture at settling race relations within Australia.
In a post on Twitter, Ms Hanson said that offering Indigenous Australians an alternative day to celebrate, in the form of a public holiday, will not change anything.
Ms Hanson says that we need to accept the past and learn to celebrate the country’s future together as one nation.
Mr Morrison had called for a new national holiday to celebrate Indigenous Australians, to sidestep the calls for Australia Day (26th January) to be abolished. Several Councils in New South Wales and Victoria have already moved Australia Day celebrations away from that date.
Every year, Australia Day attracts huge controversy and debate. While many Australians see it as an opportunity to celebrate the lifestyle, culture and achievements of their country, Indigenous Aboriginals find it is not caused to celebrate.
26th January 1788 was the date that Governor Arthur Phillip first raised the British flag at Sydney Cove and took formal possession of the colony, and is a date seen by the indigenous population as being synonymous with the ongoing destruction of their culture. In recent years there has been a call from left-wing groups to change the date to one that is less controversial.
In a recent survey conducted by Australia Institute, it was found that more than half of the people surveyed did not care what day our national day was celebrated, just as long as there was a holiday to celebrate it. However, fewer than 50 per cent of those polled could identify WHY that date is currently used. There is no connection for them with the first settlement at what was then called Botany Bay.
This contrasts with a poll conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs which showed a 70% support for keeping the existing date.
Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge is adamant that there is no need to change. January 26th is the day when all Australians should come together to celebrate the birth of our nation, our indigenous culture, our British forefather heritage and the many different cultures that have contributed to the building of our nation. He said we should retain that date as it has great significance.
In contrast to the view of most Australians, who celebrate Australia Day as a day when Australia was founded. Aboriginal people call it Invasion Day or Day of Mourning and mourn their history and lost the culture.
Deb Frecklington, LNP Queensland Leader, gives the following opinion: ‘Every year as the date comes around, another round of debate commences. But moving the date will not settle the grievances raised by the left-wing or by Indigenous persons. What should be debated is poor job prospects, poor life expectancy, high incarceration rates and over-crowding in housing. These are the issues that matter.’

Sunny Pathak

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