Celebrate with respect, sensitivity
SETTLERS and their descendants are often very sensitive about the past. Recently, there has been a backlash against anyone questioning whether January 26 is a date all Australians can celebrate in good conscience. It is understandable some people take issue with celebrating this date. In 2014, Adam Goodes received the Australian of the Year award. At the time, he said: “There was a lot of anger, a lot of sorrow, for this day... but in the last five years, I’ve changed my perception of what is Australia Day. “It’s about celebrating the positives, that we are still here as indigenous people, our culture is one of the longest surviving cultures in the world. That is something… all Australians need to celebrate. ” It was a nuanced and insightful perspective – diplomatic and conciliatory. He was slammed for it. No one is going to ban barbecues on January 26. Showing a bit of respect and understanding for divergent views on this issue would go a long way.
Giovanni Torre, journalist