MARTIN Gilmour says: Yesterday we celebrated Australia Day as a divided nation and a divided state and it is interesting to ponder whether there really is a solution.
Everybody fears being labelled a racist so any debate about race runs a fine line.
The truth is that the whole world is based on different races so, whether we like it or not, race is part of our life every day.
Last week was a classic example with Prime Minister Julia Gillard dropping long-serving Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin for Aboriginal former Olympian Nova Peris.
There are still too few women in Federal Parliament and Senator Crossin was national convenor of Emily's List, which campaigns for more women in Parliament and, by all reports, she was one of the hardest working senators around.
Ms Peris wasn't even a member of the ALP and was described as a political "novice" by a leading Northern Land Council figure.
Interestingly, Ms Gillard based almost her whole argument for intervening in due process because there "had not been an indigenous woman serve in this Parliament".
Ms Gillard's words indicate that race was the overwhelming reason for this decision. One can only feel sorry for Senator Crossin, who is a pioneer of women's rights but clearly the wrong colour.
Ironically Senator Crossin spent most of the week chairing an inquiry into new anti-discrimination laws.
No one is doubting that we need politicians of all sexes, creeds and colour in our Parliament, but such blatant political intervention by an Australian prime minister based on race is disturbing.
But, back to Australia Day, and a national celebration. Australia is such a rich and diverse country. It is appropriate that we celebrate Australia for what it offers us all.
During the past two weeks letter writers to The Examiner have debated the merits of January 26 being Australia Day.
For indigenous Australians it reminds them of a dark day in history when life changed for their race. Many Aborigines still feel intensely sensitive about that.
For non-indigenous Australians it marks a day in history when British settlement led to the development of the modern country that we call Australia - it's not perfect but it arguably offers the best lifestyle in the world.
It is pointless debating whether soldiers killed Aborigines in the 1800s or whether natives attacked local settlers - it is simply history and there are different interpretations clouded by time.
However, expecting Aborigines to celebrate January 26 lacks logic.
The only logical day is January 1, which is the anniversary of all the states joining into a federation in 1901 and effectively created the Australia we have today.