Create a Public Holiday that Recognises Mabo and Celebrates Justice and Inclusion.
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At present, there is a lot of debate about when Australia Day should be held. This debate arises out of the fact that Australia Day is celebrated on the day that Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag in Sydney Cove, further progressing a colonial conquest on behalf of the British that depleted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's ownership of the land and initiated a bloody period in history when many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were slaughtered or forced into subservience. For some it is Australia Day but for others it is Invasion Day and this petition arises out of the belief that we, as a people, should strive for unity, compassion and inclusion and our public holidays should be reflective of this practice.
Australia is a country that deserves to be celebrated as our citizens' names sit alongside some of the greatest agricultural, technological, medical, legal, humanitarian and artistic advances the world has ever seen. Our landscape is as beautiful as it is rugged and at the heart of our people is a sense of justice, of community and a longing to be given a fair go.
No one story better embodies this gravitation towards justice, community and inclusion than Eddie Koiki Mabo's. His battle for his people's land rights to be legally recognised, that brought together indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, men and women, and changed Australian land law forever instills Mabo in the annals of this nation's history as a champion of the fair go; a notion that is integral to our national identity. Eddie Mabo and his fight for what he believed in has been acknowledged, celebrated and revered by figures from all fragments of the Australian political spectrum, confirming the validity of his life's work to every Australian.
A nation that cares for its most embattled citizens is a nation that believes in its strength and purpose. We should celebrate the life of Eddie Mabo and Australia's passion for equality with a public holiday that replaces the Australia Day Holiday which has only been heavily promoted since 1988. So as not to alter the progress of people's lives too much, I would suggest that Mabo Day take place on January 21st, the date of Eddie Mabo's death, rather than on June 3rd, the date of the historic decision. However, the date of the holiday is not so much the focus of this petition as the need to establish a public holiday that is a symbolic representation of our egalitarian principles and which duly recognises the traditional owners of this land and the remarkable qualities of the Australian people.
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