Australian history tells us that despite being the first cricketers sent to England to play in what we today call ‘The Ashes’ (no white fella wanted to sail back to England and spend months at sea) and serving Australia in the Boer War, World War I and World War II, First Nations people were not allowed to participate in Australian society until the 1967 referendum.
This is still often the case today for First Nations people.
“You would be hard-pressed to turn on a television, pick up a newspaper or scroll your social media feed for too long without seeing a headline that paints First Nations people as dependent, incapable and troubled,” said Natalie Cromb, reporting in The Saturday Paper this weekend.
First Nations people were not allowed into a public bar nor membership of -or entry to-the Returned Services’ League (RSL) to have a beer with their white Australian counterparts after the war, to vote or participate in Australian society, despite serving overseas on the front line in both World Wars -and dying- for Australia.
First Nation people are ANZAC’S too.
There are many accounts, however, of anglo-saxon Aussie soldiers standing up for their First Nations colleagues at the time, to limited effect in wider Australian society
Newspaper reports of the time often refer to the ‘abhorrent behaviour of Aboriginals’ as if no white anglo-saxon Australian was ever was -or is- guilty of similar, or worse, behaviour. Ever.
It’s time to change the date of Australia Day to a day that is inclusive of all Australians, including those that were here for thousands of years before Captain Cook turned Australia into a British prison camp.
After all, the only reason Australia was settled by Cook, on behalf of England, is that the British lost the American civil war and no longer had somewhere to send prisoners languishing on British ships (used as prisons) whilst the prisons overflowed in England. The British needed somewhere to send prisoners.
Unless you’re are a First Nations person then no matter what country you or your ancestors come from, you are descended from -or are- immigrants. (Ireland in this reporter’s case).
“The truth disrupts the narrative so it must be buried …” said Cromb.
As long as politicians ignore the need to move Australia Day, you should ignore it.
Kinglake Ranges News supports a boycott of January 26 as a national day of celebration. We call on businesses to allow their staff to work and on employees to take a day in lieu instead.