Mark for­ma­tion date, not land­ing

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Bill Shep­hard, Au­gusta

In re­cent weeks, we have heard via the me­dia all about Aus­tralia Day on Jan­uary 26 when the foun­da­tion of Aus­tralia was on Jan­uary 1, 1901, and this is the day that must be recog­nised as Aus­tralia Day.

When are all Australians go­ing to cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day and not the first land­ing of Gover­nor Philip in New Hol­land to form a set­tle­ment known as NSW, so the Bri­tish could get rid of con­victs from their jails as they could no longer be sent to Amer­ica?

They only claimed a small por­tion of New Hol­land, only the eastern part of what is now NSW, and the name Aus­tralia did not even ex­ist. Matthew Flin­ders coined the name Aus­tralia and was forced to take the name out of his map­ping re­port to the Bri­tish Ad­mi­ralty in about 1810 and use the name New Hol­land. WA was the first Bri­tish colony to use Aus­tralia in its name in 1830.

We need to have pride in the for­ma­tion of Aus­tralia as a new sov­er­eign coun­try.

I am a fifth-gen­er­a­tion Aus­tralian and had an­ces­tors in South Aus­tralia, WA and Vic­to­ria in the first year of their set­tle­ments, and I now have great-grand­chil­dren that are eighth-gen­er­a­tion Australians.

I have not at­tended the so-called Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions for the past sev­eral years and will not at­tend un­til it is on the cor­rect date and used to cel­e­brate the for­ma­tion of Aus­tralia.

Aus­tralia did not ex­ist as a coun­try be­fore 1901 and the first sit­ting of the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment was in Melbourne in March, 1901. I have had a lot to do with the true Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, and in their views, cel­e­brat­ing Aus­tralia Day on Jan­uary 26 is con­sid­ered to be against them as they con­sider it as “In­va­sion Day”, but are happy to be Australians and would wel­come the change to cel­e­brate the foun­da­tion day for the for­ma­tion of Aus­tralia. I ask any­one read­ing this to lobby their politi­cians to change the date of Aus­tralia Day to Jan­uary 1, and then Aus­tralia can show pride in the for­ma­tion of Aus­tralia.

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