Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the British fleet and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788 .
For many Australians, this is the day that Australia as they know it was founded. However, many indigenous Australians feel differently. To them, 26 January is not a date to celebrate, rather it is the date when the invasion of their country, massacre of their people and the destruction of their lives started. Many call it Invasion Day or Survival Day, and take part in protest marches on this day. They would like to move Australia Day to a date when all citizens of Australia can enjoy it. In the video below, produced in January 2016, several Aboriginal Australians explain how they feel about Australia Day:
Click on the link to read an article explaining why the author thinks Australia Day should be moved: https://indigenousx.com.au/why-we-need-to-change-the-date-of-australia-day/
- Do you think Australia Day should be moved? Why/why not?
- Does the country where you live have a national day? Why is this day celebrated?
- Are people of all backgrounds and cultures included in your national day? Why/ why not?
- Are national days a good idea or do they create situations where people can feel excluded?
- Are there other ways to celebrate a country that are more inclusive?
Write an essay where you discuss arguments for and against having a National Day, and consider the issues that may arise from it.
To work in more depth with Aboriginal history, click on the links to the pages below. You can also read through these pages to gain an overview of the historical background for the protests against Australia Day.