The lead up to Australia Day was no different to any other year before it. Once again, Facebook newsfeeds were filled with the same unoriginal, narrow-minded content fed by young white males, who were discussing their plans with their “mates” for all of their social media comrades to see.
Male A: “Bro, you gonna spend the day sinkin’ VBs down on the tinnie mate?”
Male B: “Yeah mate, sick”.
These mindless comments really make you wonder if all these “mates” partaking in the various Australia Day festivities even know what Australia Day really is, or if they really do believe it is nothing more than a day off work for the sole purpose of drinking VBs and eating meat pies- you know, the real Aussie way.
For Indigenous Australians, the traditional custodians of this land, the 26th of January is definitely not an aimless day of celebration, but a day of mourning. Australia Day marks the day that Terra Nullius, or as defined in the English language “land belonging to no one”, was disregarded and taken over by white men. It marks a horrific period in time for their ancestors who were displaced of their land and homes, killed in massacres and denied their humanity. It certainly does not mark a day for celebration and respect to their heritage.
In knowing these atrocities, it merely begs the question as to why we are still celebrating this day. Are people choosing to be ignorant, because in this instance ignorance is definitely not bliss- it is ignorant. Surely, the Australian government could break this disrespectful tradition and create a new day that stands for multiculturalism and respecting each other. That way, the true-blue Aussies- and everyone else who enjoys a free day off work- can comfortably enjoy their day without disrespecting an entire culture.
However, the changing of Australia Day- no matter how politically correct- is not a likely outcome, so for next year please pay your respects to the Aboriginal culture. Perhaps, even a little education on the history of Australia would go a long way so that no one has to hear anything along the lines of: “I think Indigenous Australian’s should just get over it, like it happened ages ago they’re fine now”. And if those words are uttered near you, perhaps you should tell that person to stop drinking so many VBs so that their brain cells can repair themselves…