Happy Australia Day! I’ve been relaxing and listening to Aussie rock songs and just come back from a Malaysian cafe for a late Laksa lunch. The first song I heard on the radio this morning was Great Southern Land. Such an appropriate song for the day.
I’m over on Mamamia today talking about what Australia Day means to me. I’m in good company with Jess Rudd, Anita Heiss, Benjamin Law, Bern Morley, Aminata Conteh and Susan Carland.
I wrote on Mamamia how the ‘us and them’ mentality on Australia Day (and beyond) saddens me. Today Facebook and Twitter is awash with the ‘real Australians’, ‘we grew here, you flew here’ and ‘invasion day’ statements. Nationalism/patriotism/racism seems more prevalent in this past decade, though it may be that way because everyone seems to express an opinion on social media. There’s a belief among some that if a person’s heritage doesn’t date back to Captain Phillip and his settlement who arrived here on 26 January 1788, they’re not a true Australian.
As my friend said, it’s Australia Day, not “people I choose to recognise as Australian” day.
My wish for Australia Day and the year ahead is for the us and them mentality to become less prevalent, and fears of other cultures to dissipate.