WE ARE approaching Australia Day and the conversations are heated, ranging from changing the date to referring to it as Invasion Day.
It is hard to have a balanced view as there seems to be many sides and considerations. In my opinion the jury is still out, but listening to a First Peoples Elder say we should keep the date helped to put things in perspective for me.
However, as you know I always like to look at things from all angles before making my mind up. I would like to ask you, the reader, to take the time to ponder before making a judgement.
Before I start, I am a second generation Anglo-Australian my grandfather a Scot moved to Australia after fighting in the World War II.
Let's get to these questions; have you seen a map of countries that exist in Australia? There were many recognised before the Brits came over to colonise, Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl.
Have you seen what's termed as a 'Massacre Map', depicting the massacres that happened across Australia during White settlement? Did you know one of the last massacres happened in Northern NSW while my parents were still alive, where men, women and children were killed?
Have you ever shared a cuppa with a person of the Stolen Generation and listened to their stories?
You can see why some refer to it as Invasion Day.
These are all things we need to consider. Australia Day is not about being black, or white. It's about being Australian and what that represents; to me is equality. If a community is struggling we lend a hand to help them up, and certainly not a hand to keep them down.
When I went to school, just from our class were first and second generation British, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Chinese, Japanese, South African, Vietnamese, South Pacific and that's only what I know about.
We did have differences, but it wasn't about race or culture; we had the headbangers, the skegs (surfers), the handballers, the punks ... each difference was taste in music, or a common hobby.
To not understand people's alternative perspectives from all angles and to be solid in one's own opinion without listening, is to miss out on the beauty of diversity, culture and difference, something that Australia should be very proud of.
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