SHAUN CAR­NEY

Herald Sun - - OPINION -

Still, Aus­tralia Day didn’t mean much to most of us. The 1980s was when it changed. The Fraser gov­ern­ment over­saw the cre­ation of a sin­gle Aus­tralian of the Year award. And the 1988 Bi­cen­ten­nial, mark­ing 200 years since the start of British coloni­sa­tion, fi­nally sold Aus­tralians on what its mar­ket­ing peo­ple called “the cel­e­bra­tion of a na­tion”. By the mid-1990s, we locked into hav­ing the hol­i­day on Jan­uary 26 — un­less it falls on a week­end, as it does this year, which means we’re go­ing to have a nos­tal­gia-in­duc­ing long week­end for once. Aus­tralia Day is now a fes­ti­val of flags, bar­be­cues, booze­ups, fire­works, speeches, awards and cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies. And pre­dictably enough, pol­i­tics. How could pol­i­tics not be part of it?

After all, we’re cel­e­brat­ing two re­lated events: the be­gin­nings of

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.