Skip to main content

Why I Don't Celebrate Australia Day Anymore and Why It's Still an Important Day for All of Modern Australia

1938, 150th Celebration of European Settlement.
President Patten (right) reads resolution,
"We, representing the ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA ...
on the 150th Anniversary of the whitemen's seizure of our
country, HEREBY MAKE PROTEST against the callous
treatment of our people ... AND WE APPEAL to the
Australian Nation of to-day ... for FULL CITIZEN
. ..This image is part of the collections of the
State Library of NSW.
January 26th is recognized as Australia Day in Australia (obviously). It marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and raising of the Union Flag of Great Britain by Arthur Phillip at Sydney Cove, a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour.

For modern Australia it's a holiday and a day of celebration, with the Federal, State, and even Local Councils, handing out awards for achievement at various events. Quite often citizenship ceremonies for new Aussies are performed too.

However, over the last few decades, momentum has gathered for the day to be recognized as a national day of mourning, since the arrival of the first fleet marks the beginning of Indigenous Australians being forcibly removed from their lands. For those first nations people Australia Day has come to be known as either Invasion Day or Survival Day. 

The problem for me being, Indigenous people do have a point, but at the same time the date is significant to what Australia has ultimately become. Many people have called for the date of Australia Day to be changed but the fact is, historically, January 26 is the day modern Australia began, for better or worse.

Personally I feel Australia Day should absolutely recognize both events the day represents. Perhaps in a similar way we celebrate ANZAC Day with the morning being a time of remembrance for those wrongs and the many people lost, and the afternoon being a time of celebration, reconciliation, and looking to the future. Recognizing that we are trying to right the wrongs of the past and moving forward with a more inclusive national community.

Currently the holiday, each year, spawns a growing debate over what the day represents, with protest marches by people who would rather have a day of mourning, contrasted with largely white Australians celebrating the day, because that's what you do on a day that's supposedly about being a proud Australian.

The media shows the extremes of the the debate which, to me, makes the discussion from both sides seem very toxic and untenable. It doesn't seem like anyone is willing to compromise. It has to be a full day of mourning or celebration, there is no middle ground. 

I don't want to upset anyone by celebrating but I'm upsetting people by not celebrating. Probably even being called 'unpatriotic' or even 'woke'.

Consequently I just can't be bothered even acknowledging the day anymore. It's a public holiday and I'm not proud to be associated with either side of the discussion.

If it becomes a national day of mourning why would I even show up to any events? That would be like a murderer showing up at their victims funerals. Hey look, your ancestors are responsible for this tragic history, great to see you here.

If we go that route it truly will be just a holiday for anyone without indigenous ancestry. May as well stay home, because going out will be, potentially, opening yourself up to abuse for what your ancestors did. That would definitely happen in some pockets. Particularly those backing the whole 'Invasion day' narrative, making it sound like the first fleet arrived guns blazing and stormed the beaches.

I'm not denying it was the beginning of some very dark times but calling the day 'Invasion day' isn't something you can really build upon if reconciliation is the goal.

I would, one day, like to be able to celebrate Australia Day on January 26th with, perhaps a bigger focus on what the day means for all who call this country their home. Remembering the wrongs of the past but also embracing, hopefully, a brighter future for everyone.

It is, after all, an important day, for everyone to acknowledge. What we are as a nation now, began on that day.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Are Ion Thrusters the Future of Flying Cars? Spoiler - Probably Not But... Hover Boards... Maybe?

Undefined Technologies Ion Propulsion Drone prototype 3D concept image. You may have heard of Ion engines or, more likely, Ion thrusters. NASA uses them on their spacecraft to help maintain a craft's position or to propel them through space.  Upon hearing that you might think they're big, powerful engines, but actually they are not. They work well in the vacuum of space but, once any kind of atmosphere and gravity is involved they'd be hard pressed to launch you off the ground if you strapped four of them to your lawn chair and yelled "up, up, and away!" I am no expert on Ion thrusters - they're basically magic that science has an explanation for. If you want to know the details, The Space Techie website has a layman's explanation .  Build Your Own Ion Thruster Earth based Ion Thrusters work a bit different to their  space based cousins by Ionizing the same air that we breathe to create thrust (an effect known as Ionic-wind ).  While they sound highly soph

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

Ashley Knoote-Parke. Image: Facebook It seems almost redundant to review  Brand It Purple  given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself. However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur. Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home. There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'. I came across the b

I'm Joining the Illuminati Brotherhood By Personal Invitation of Hiltom Rothschild... Wait, What?

How special am I to have finally come of age (53 years young) and am now eligible to participate in building the world alongside other members of the Illuminati Brotherhood... Yes I've received the call by way of an email, which I'm sure is real because I had to translate it from the Dutch language and it was personally written by Hiltom Rothschild, one of the non-existent members of the Rothschild family (or perhaps deep undercover because Google has never heard of them?). A Transcript of the email below: To: etourist From: Illuminati Brotherhood  Subject: Illuminati Broederschap (Illuminati Brotherhood) I am Hiltom Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family, one of the 13 families of the Illuminati brotherhood. I'm here to let you know that you've come of age and are eligible to participate in building the 🌎 world. It is a calling and a privilege to honor him with pride and gratitude as not everyone will ever be chosen by the LIGHT, many are called but few are ch

Robot Uprising Update: Robot Waiter, Fasta Pasta, South Terrace, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

On the second evening of my partner, Enigma, and I's weekend stay in Adelaide we decided to have dinner at Fasta Pasta . Strangely enough our hotel staff, at the Alba, had not mentioned Fasta Pasta as an option for an evening meal while their restaurant is closed for refurbishment, even though it is literally next door on the corner of South Terrace and Pultney Street. You may be aware that Fasta Pasta is an upmarket Italian restaurant franchise with its beginnings in Adelaide. Currently they have 19 restaurants Australia wide (with the majority in South Australia - we even have one in Gawler, our home town). I've never had bad food at a Fasta Pasta, and their food never looks like a franchise meal. You always feel you're at a restaurant that's a little bit more quality than your typical hotel/motel meal. Maybe it's because you don't see as much pasta based meals on an Aussie pub menu. Despite the name, it's not all pasta. I went with a basic plate of fish a

Movie Opinion: The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy - Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), The Flash (2023)

The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy on DVD. Despite its questionable CGI, troubled star, and the turmoil surrounding the DCEU's future when it was released, 2023's, The Flash does give us a new, and probably final, installment in Michael Keaton's run as Bruce Wayne/Batman. With that in mind, this holiday season, I had a real itch to spend a day binge watching what is now The Michael Keaton, Batman Trilogy .  To give you some context, I own every Batman movie (except Pattinson's The Batman ) on DVD, and every DCEU movie up to The Flash. The ones I don't own are only missing because I haven't gotten around to buying them, and they're likely still available on a streaming service I'm subscribed to. I've had Keaton's first two Batman movies in my collection for the best part of two decades but I can count on one hand how many times I've watched each. The last time was more than a decade ago.  Before I watched them recently, if you'd have asked