As January 26 rolls around every year, the support to change the date the nation celebrates Australia Day appears to grow stronger.
Crowds continue to increase at Invasion Day events, councils are choosing to acknowledge honours on a different day, and some have even gone as far to pass motions supporting a change of date.
In 2016, the Tasmanian government changed its constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as the First Tasmanians.
A year later the Reconciliation Council of Tasmania was formed to be an inclusive and consultative process to further progress reconciliation in Tasmania. Closing the gap is a national objective that must be approached at all levels of government and within the community.
Recent comments from state politicians that Australia Day date is a national issue is disappointing. In fact, it's a bit of a cop-out. It's well known that change happens from the ground up.
A recent example would be the marriage equality debate. Marriage laws are a federal issue. Despite this, the Tasmanian government entered a debate on the issue and in 2015, Tasmania became the third state to support marriage equality. This debate sets a precedent on federal decisions that are social issues.
Tasmania joining the conversation indicated a need to address the issue, a plebiscite followed, and we now have marriage equality in Australia. The marriage equality plebiscite did not have a unanimous result, but there was a clear majority.
By no means should a plebiscite occur for Australia Day. Instead, we must ask the question: "are you impacted negatively by celebrating Australia on January 26" and "if the date was changed, how would that impact your life". For First Nations people, the answer is a clear and resounding yes when it comes to the negative experiences of January 26. That answer alone is enough to be having a serious conversation about the date, and in turn, move further down the path of reconciliation.
This conversation must be led by our leaders, which starts with the state government.