LIKE many other Australians I celebrated Australia Day on January 26, 2017.
However for me there is a shadow over the day. I don’t think January 26 is an appropriate date. It should be changed.
Why should the rest of Australia expect our first Australian people to happily celebrate the anniversary of a day which saw the beginnings of their dispossession, disadvantage and almost annihilation?
I accept what happened in the past can’t be changed but surely if Australia Day is meant to be a day for all Australians we need to show some sensitivity about January 26 and its history.
Australia Day was set in 1935, well prior to the time the first Australian people were permitted to vote, participate in our democracy and indeed be counted in the Census.
It was also a time when non-aboriginal Australia happily accepted the handed-down concept of ‘Terra Nullius’, i.e. Australia, when the English arrived in 1788, belonged to no one.
A lot has changed since then.
I realise many aboriginal people participate in Australia Day ceremonies and we have had nine very worthy aboriginals named as Australian of the Year since it was introduced in 1960. Congratulations and thank you to them.
However, I would like to see the date impediment removed so that all aboriginal people would feel free to be involved.
There is a loud chorus of voices – both aboriginal and non-aboriginal – calling for a change of date. If you think it through there can only be one answer if Australia Day is to be an inclusive day of patriotism for all Australians.
The date must be changed.
THEY say that you learn something new every day.
My wife sent me off into the supermarket with a shopping list. Nothing unusual about that you might say? Well on this occasion the list took me into the rows that my wife always covers so, with trepidation, I went forth to the grapes.
Now her list just said grapes. It did not say red or green grapes. This was a worry. I knew if I took the red ones I'd be called hopeless because she said green and I didn't listen. Be brave Bruce, I thought, and take the red grapes hoping that there is no green ones in the store.
I went to the bananas. The list said three bananas. They were all in bunches of four at a set price. Panic started to creep in. What happens if I break one off; will they charge the same price with one less, or will I take four and get stick for not sticking to the list?
My wife knows what she wants and where shopping is concerned is not to be trifled with when it comes to food and price.
Cocoa. Now my wife said that it was in the coffee row, but she didn't say if it was in a round or square container, or in a packet. Horror. The row had 49,000 different brands of coffee, latte and God knows what else, but no cocoa.
Suddenly a familiar voice rings out, “what on earth have you been doing all this time?". I stood on my digs explaining there was no cocoa in that row. My wife then strode down the row and with a flourish plonked a round container in my trolley.
“But that says drinking chocolate,” I said.
“Read the small word underneath, it says cocoa.”