It’s almost Australia Day (Jan 26th) when as a nation – Australians get a public holiday to celebrate being free and prosperous and the wide variety of cultural backgrounds that contribute to this country. Unfortunately, many on the political left agitate for a change the date policy to acknowledge the dispossession of land by European colonial efforts (which may arguably have begun far before Jan 26, 1788 when ‘First Fleet’ Convicts and their guards arrived in Sydney) and while I have sympathy for how Aboriginals and Pacific Islanders, Asians, Native Americans and Sub-Saharan Africans were treated historically by Europeans, I also recognise the great good that colonial ideas and traditions inspired in this land and elsewhere too. Indigenous peoples may have lived in societies and cultures for many many thousands of years, but by global standards they were very underdeveloped and suffered from disease and privation resulting in much hardship prior to Europeans as after. Nonetheless I think that there are some who wish to ignore the pain of colonisation and that is a mistake, better to openly acknowledge wrong done by both ‘sides’ through misunderstanding, but unless/until a new name of this land eventuates – for me Australia day is a day for all Australians to use as they choose, that’s the privilege and the price of freedom. Its up to us!
Today I’m meeting up with mates for a beer at a local bar/restaurant to chat and discuss our lives and experiences – this is a privilege I enjoy and am thankful for 🙂
May today and this week be a time of healing and reconciliation for people who have been hurt by the past events that shaped them. Remember that you are here now and that is a blessing and a gift!