Cultural Awareness vs 26th January
From one of our readers in Woombye, Queensland, on Gubbi Gubbi Country.
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The reason we celebrate a national day is for all Australians to celebrate qualities of mateship, fairness and a unique culture that is immersed in Indigenous heritage.
As we reflect on this, many ask: Why would politicians consider that celebrating on 26th January is genuinely inclusive or appropriate?
Like the Holocaust, impacts of Australia’s Frontier Wars still resonate and should never be dismissed and brushed aside. How can Australia uphold values of humanity, integrity and fairness, yet blindly ignore confronting home truths? Any day that signifies historical ties with invasion, mass murder and dispossession demands acknowledgement and respect.
Clearly, it is grossly inappropriate to celebrate on 26th January: a day intrinsically linked to colonial oppression. The sunlight test of Royal Commissions has done little to address social justice issues.
We can only celebrate a fair society when it is fully inclusive and representative of justice and equity for all.
Cultural awareness starts with a national educational curriculum based on transparency and truth-telling. Australian values of integrity require that we uphold authentic commitment to participatory representation and a Treaty. And, in the Spirit of Reconciliation, we can only become united as a nation when we acknowledge our shared history with respect.
By Christine Bennett