Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

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.

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