AUS DAY IS FOR ALL
AUSTRALIA Day recognises that Aboriginal, European and many migrant and refugee people are in it together, and that that is cause for recognition at least, and celebration at best.
To shift the date is to deny our settler past and European arrival on Australia soil. While that arrival has had devastating environmental impacts as well devastating human impact, European arrival is a fact.
The positive and forward (not backward)-looking Australia Day message is to recognise a courageous, creative and welcoming people (Aboriginal citizens) as well as all other Australians irrespective of their origins.
This in no way diminishes the fact that our original Australians have suffered greatly and still do. But despite this there is cause to together celebrate all our pasts, warts and all.
I reckon most of these people want to embrace the idea of being Australian as well as Aboriginal. I acknowledge their dispossession and the illegitimacy of the doctrine of “Terra Nullius” remain running sores in the Australian social fabric.
However, should this stand in the way of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people? Should this tragic past rule our present of dispossession and of being trapped in the past? DAMIAN FLYNN, East Fremantle.