Australia Day

I'm a little uncomfortable about leaping head-first into Australia Day celebrations because ....let's face it'.....it not only marks the day the whities landed on solid ground but also the day that the black fellas had their sacred ground invaded. Life only got better and better for those early colonists, while our Aboriginal hosts have seen a serious deterioration of quality of life. It might be more culturally sensitive to move Australia Day to the second Monday in March which commemorates Commonwealth Day and then at some time in the not too distant future we might be able to have our own Independence Day after becoming a republic.

Most of us in this country came from somewhere else. We all started out as boat people. Australia is a nation of tourists who put down their bags and decided to stay. And why wouldn't you want to? It's a pretty fantastic place. Best beaches in the world. The Barrier Reef. Great waterways and sweeping, majestic deserts. Sunsets of fire. A climate that feels like your favourite, most comfortable jacket.

We are a laid back, relaxed and peaceful mob. Perhaps a little too apathetic sometimes but that's better than being a nation of hot-headed, aggro, gun-toting maniacs. We drink too much beer and eat too many pies. None of us gives much of a damn about politics. Our leader is a feisty red-head. We came up with "Neighbours' and gave the world Kylie Minogue, INXS  and Mel Gibson. We have more deadly creatures than Africa and some really weird critters such as the platypus. We're either flooding or on fire.

But it has to be one of the best countries to be born in these days and I'm grateful for that. My children have a good life in the land of OZ. Good public schools, Medicare which provides free health services,. Did I mention the beaches?? Bondi. Bronte and Byron Bay. Sydney is a sexy city. Tasmania has some incredible forests. Kakadu National Park is like visiting another planet.

Improvements to my mind would be - a new flag, a farewell to the royal family (although I do have a thing for  Prince Harry),   more compassion toward the refugees arriving in boats, more tolerance and support for the most disadvantaged members of society (although our welfare system does beat the pants off most other Western nations). We should embrace gay marriage and stamp out the racism and sexism that is still way too prevalent.

Today...I shall crack open a beer and eat a Skippy the bush kangaroo burger. Nobody really puts shrimps on a barbie...we don't even know what shrimps are....here we call them prawns.

I'll put some Cold Chisel on the music box and enjoy the sound of heavy rain in the background.

I'll raise a toast to some super Aussies who have moved on - Steve Irwin, Bob Barrett, Victor Chang, Slim Dusty, Michael Hutchence, Barnum Barnum, Peter Allen, Bryce Courtney and 2/3 of The BeeGees.

Safe Australia Day but remember it was also Invasion Day....

3 comments:

  1. Aarrgghhh i really liked you and reading your blog until this. Invasion Day my arse. Give me a break. When was the last time you saw an aboriginal person working? The amount of $ given to them is amazing, and yet most of them do not do anything to help themselves. Have you been to the outback Nikki? I have, and its a sad and sorry site. But hey, this is your blog, you can write what you want, and i also have the right not to come back....

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  2. Nothing like putting your name to bravely spoken word Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous.

    Check your dictionary mate - Invasion (noun): entrance as if to take possession or overrun. This is, unfortunately, exactly white our founders did. Like it or not Australia Day can also be called "Invasion Day".

    But you are right on one thing - you do have that right to not come back.

    Good work Nikki, keep it up.

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  3. Thanks for that Stefan. Well said. My favourite professor at law school was a beautiful Indigenous woman. She was a true inspiration and great fun. I have lived in the Northern Territory and North Queensland, have spent time in the Mossman community and am always broken-hearted to see the often insurmountable obstacles our original Australians face. If someone moved into Anonymous's house and took everything and went on to celebrate that day, I guess it would be a different matter. People who stereotype any group of 'others' are pretty darn ignorant.

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