Change Australia Day, the Flag and the Anthem to represent all Australians
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Australia is one of the most desirable places on earth to live and enjoy, and we have all arguably won the lottery of life by being able to live here, whether we were born here or have come as immigrants. Yet we still have a significant divide between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australians which cannot be fixed by money, education and similar assistance alone.
No current day Australians, aboriginal or non-aboriginal, were party to the days of early settlement and the resultant taking over of aboriginal land. Australia is a big country. Whether we like it or not, sooner or later Australia was going to be found and settled by European or other explorers, with the resultant takeover of aboriginal lands.
The vast majority of Australians want to move on towards full reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australians so that we can focus on progressing this great nation together in a complex and challenging world.
Many advances towards reconciliation have been made, But we as a nation have not done the best we can until we have identified and replaced those elements representing our nation that are unacceptable to descendants of the original inhabitants of our country.
It is obvious that three important symbols of Australia which are completely one-sided, and it would be surprising if descendants of original inhabitants ever accepted them:
- The Australian Flag with its Union Jack in the corner does not represent aboriginal history and culture. It is a reminder of takeover of aboriginal lands. The Union Jack has lessening relevance to Australia now, especially to the many immigrants from other nations and those born here. Some real action is needed to develop a flag that can be respected by aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australians.
- The National Anthem ignores aboriginal heritage in this country and can never be considered to be a national anthem until it is fixed to address this. We could go to a different anthem, or the words could quite readily be changed to address this significant issue. There have been many good suggestions put forward - just search the internet. It is time to address this properly and effectively.
- Australia Day currently recognises the date of the start of European settlement in Australia. There is no point in continuing with 26th January as a celebration when it is offensive to aboriginal Australians. Australia Day should be a day we can all celebrate our culture, lifestyle, achievements and look to the future. We need an alternate milestone in our history that can be celebrated by us all. There are obvious alternatives - we just need good will, sensible inclusive debate and resolution.
We all see the protests. The protests will just get louder and louder each year until something happens on these three items.
Please accept the responsibility we entrust to our politicians to lead this country now, and jointly start the path to sort out this situation that none of us created but we all need to have fixed. It may take some time, but we need to start the journey in a non-political, coordinated and positive manner.
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