28 January 2013


Australia celebrated its national holiday on Jan 26th, the date on which the first permanent European settlers arrived at Sydney cove. Some have questioned the suitability of this day if Australia's national day is to be fully inclusive.

Indigenous Australians often feel that the celebrations on Australia Day exclude them and their culture, and rather than being a day for celebration it is a day of mourning as the date marks the beginning of their dispossession and the destruction of their culture.

Whilst the Australian government has given a commitment to 'closing the gap' in life expectancy, infant mortality and deaths from preventable diseases that exists between indigenous and other Australians, the 'Close the Gap' campaign to improve indigenous health is ongoing.

In the meantime the campaign to update Australia's constitution to recognise both Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is continuing with the government currently considering a set of recommendations to be put to the Australian people at a referendum.

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