Arguing to change the date of Australia Day is arguing to establish yet another superficial and ineffective act of symbolism that will change nothing for the plight of marginalised Indigenous Australians.
It is tediously predictable, yet fun, to guess who will virtue-signal their PC credentials by suggesting they won't be celebrating Australia Day for some artificial and confected reason, like wanting people to feel "culturally safe". Really, who dreams this stuff up?
What is cringeworthily patronising is those non-Indigenous who seek to empathise with those who are by condemning the date set aside to celebrate their or their ancestors' arrival. In doing so, they wilfully, deliberately, and it could be argued, deceitfully ignore the fact there is a strong resentment among Indigenous people to such an attitude.
In case we need reminding January 26 celebrates and honours the establishment of the first permanent European settlement on the continent we call home. This happened over 200 years ago. We can't wind back the clock.
European settlement and the culture and values it brought was the birth of Australia - a country that is the envy of the world. Australia is now a sought-after destination for millions from around the world, suggesting our international reputation bears no resemblance to how the change-the-date brigade falsely portrays us.
The real issue for Indigenous Australians is not changing dates or making treaties - that's stuff the elite like to pontificate about in the self-delusion that such superficial acts change things for the abused child, the battered woman, or the unemployed youth.
Nor will making a change appease the aggrieved, offended minority whose goal is seemingly not to solve our most critical problems or attain unity, but spark division.
The continually and perpetually offended are never satisfied. They can't tell you what reconciliation means in practise or when or how it will be achieved. Whatever concession is made, it's only ever a step toward reconciliation which has a continuously receding finish line.
It seems setting aside one day to recognise European settlement is an outrage and a flagrant denial of recognition while ignoring the 11 official days of the year set aside to provide recognition for Aboriginal Australians, not to mention a full week of celebrating Indigenous recognition.
If they can get beyond being perpetually offended, they may find they could invest their energy in supporting practical outcomes to overcome family violence, child sexual abuse, youth suicide, alcohol and substance abuse in our Indigenous communities and providing genuine help for those who suffer real world disadvantage and trauma.
We have a lot to celebrate and it's not skin colour or your name that makes you a true Australian; it's your character, behaviour and contribution to society.
As distinguished Aboriginal university researcher Anthony Dillon has said:
"Calls for a change are on the basis that today's generation of Aboriginal people (many like myself, who are descendants of the invaded and invader) are allegedly suffering due to British invasion. While many Aboriginal people at the time of the invasion definitely suffered, today's generation are not suffering, or if they are, it is not because of events from two centuries ago.
"We are never victims of the past but only ever victims of our view of the past, as indeed so many wonderful, hardworking Aboriginal Australians today have shown."
For the record, I should have put paragraphs 1, 7, and 10 in italics and attributed them to Jacinta Price, another distinguished Indigenous Australian who will hopefully be joining me as a senator after the next election representing the Northern Territory.
Currently, she serves as the director of the Indigenous Research Program at the Centre for Independent Studies.
A simple question for those who were readying their poison pens and who may have been critical of paragraphs one, seven and ten - why does it make a difference if a white man or an Indigenous woman says it?
Surely the credibility and worthiness of a contribution does not depend on skin colour or gender but on its merits.
With this disclosure hopefully some of the poised poison pens will be laid aside.
Happy Australia Day. Plenty for which to be thankful and lots to do to make Australia even better for all.
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