26 January 2021 - Invasion Day in Australia
The evolution of Australia Day controversy
Australia's national day of celebration has drawn much criticism recently from those who say it causes unfair hurt to indigenous people. But the controversy, like Australia Day itself, has evolved over many years, reports Sharon Verghis from Sydney.
More than most other nations, perhaps, Australia has a relaxed relationship to its national day.
Australia Day, on 26 January, commemorates the day in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of 11 British ships, arrived at Sydney Cove to signal the birth of the colony.
On Invasion Day, our calls for justice will not be silenced
Meriki Onus (Sydney Morning Herald, 24/01/2021)
I am a 33-year-old Aboriginal woman, I live in Melbourne and for the past five years I have organised Indigenous rights rallies, including Invasion Day.
I’m also a university student who enjoys drinking soy lattes and eating avocado on sourdough toast with vegan feta.
Most people at this point in the article would readily dismiss my voice as they have been told for many years now that mine is a voice that is not worth listening to. That my voice is not a ‘real’ Indigenous perspective.
Toxicity swirls around January 26, but we can change the nation with a Voice to parliament
Megan Davis (The Conversation, 25/01/2021)
We are on the eve of the nation’s annual ritual of celebrating the arrivals, while not formally recognising the ancient peoples who were dispossessed.
Each year the tensions spill over, rendering Australia Day/Invasion Day/Survival Day a protest as much as a celebration.
But there is a quiet process underway, aimed at achieving substantive recognition of the First Nations that has so far eluded Australia.
If your child asks why Australia is celebrating a day of invasion, what will you tell them?
Amy McQuire (The Guardian, 25/01/2021)
Black children are often left out of national conversations. Yet their welfare is often invoked by governments and commentators to support white agendas and position non-Indigenous Australia as benevolent rather than violent. First Nations children are silenced even though the most brutal acts of colonisation were perpetrated and continue to be perpetrated against them. The attempted destruction of Aboriginal families and communities was central to the settler-colonial project, and those who were most victimised, who suffered the most hurt, were black children. These past policies directly aimed at destroying Indigenous families and removing black presence from stolen land did not disappear, but instead took on new forms, evident in the justice, child protection and health systems.
Not all Indigenous children have experiences of detention or child removal, but they all share an inheritance of this trauma, and they all experience the violence of the education system, where they are taught a false history about this land.