25 January 2005


This week the nation celebrates Australia Day on Jan 26th. For many it is the final holiday at the end of the summer break before the return to work and school. It is also intended as a day of national celebration and a demonstration of national pride.

The date itself marks the day of the establishment of the first permanent European settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people then it can seem to be more an occasion for mourning the loss of life, land and self-government and remembering the drastic changes to the Aboriginal peoples' way of life that resulted than an occasion for celebration.

At this time therefore it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the injustices experienced by Indigenous people, which continue today, as a result of colonisation.

An interesting test which may challenge your perceptions about Australia Day can be found at the ANTAR Victoria website.

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