Why we should change the date of Australia day

2 min read
08/12/2020 7:00:09 AM

Every year the debate surrounding Australia day is celebrated on the 26th of January intensifies. Here are some reasons why we believe Australia should celebrate its national day on another date.

It’s Not the Day the First Fleet Landed in Australia

January 26th was not the day that the First Fleet first landed in Australia. In fact, the actual date the British arrived in Botany Bay was the 20th of January 1788. It wasn’t until a week later that the British raised the Union Jack in Sydney Cove.

It’s Insensitive to the Plight of Australia’s Indigenous Community

During what has become known as the 'Frontier Wars', Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and tribes fought to defend themselves and their country, with many violently murdered in the clashes with white settlers. It is estimated that Australia’s First Nations population went from an estimated 1.5 million before the invasion to less than 100,000 by the early 1900s.

It seems inconsiderate and insensitive that any nation should be celebrating the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people who were indigenous to the land.

There are Better Alternative Dates

Instead of celebrating the day the Union Jack was first flown in Sydney Cove, why not change it to the 9th of October, the day Australia garnered independence from the British empire?

Even the 9th of July the day Australia’s constitution was given royal assent is surely more significant.

It’s Not a Day of Celebration for the Indigenous Community

For decades, Australia’s indigenous community have said that January 26th is not a day of celebration for them. They label it a ‘Day of Mourning’, ‘Invasion Day’, or ‘Survival Day.’

Considering first nations people and their culture are an inherent part of Australia and its history, labelling a day they deem as derogatory and unworthy to be called Australia Day should be taken into account.

What do you think?

The issue of when or whether to celebrate Australia Day seems to have become stuck in a loop of fierce debate without resolution.

There are those who want to mark January 26 as the start of modern Australia, while others view it as the start of the systematic dispossession of Indigenous Australians.

A national survey shows that the majority of Australians (60%) want the day left as it is. But it also suggests a groundswell for change is in the works.