Monday, January 24, 2011

Insiders and Outsiders

Australia Day is coming around again. To most people it is an enjoyable public holiday with the opportunity to enjoy the sun and a few drinks. Some of us think otherwise.

Michael Brull on the ABC program The Drum stated why he won’t be celebrating Australia Day. He covers the issue from many angles. My major concern is that January 26th 1788 began the colonisation of Australia. Two hundred and thirteen years later the Indigenous people of this country are the most disadvantaged group in modern Australia. Should they celebrate?

I will not be displaying the Australian Flag with a British flag in the corner. I am putting up the Aboriginal Flag to acknowledge the injustice.

Not everyone agrees that the arrival of the modern settlers in Australia is cause for unreserved celebration. The country's original inhabitants, the Aborigines, suffered great hardships as a result of the new arrivals.

The Aboriginal flag was recognised under Federal legislation, as was the Torres Strait Islanders' flag, in July 1995. The Aboriginal flag was first displayed on 12th July 1971, National Aborigines' Day, at Victoria Square in Adelaide. It was also used at the 'Tent Embassy' in Canberra in 1972.

Designed by Indigenous Elder Harold Thomas in 1971, this flag symbolises Aboriginal identity. Yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre. Red represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in ceremonies. Black represents the Aboriginal people.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I've just read Brull's article and it's just so full of assumptions, such as Australian's are perceived as blond and tanned (what? so many of us are from some where else), or that Australia Day excludes Indigenous people ~he's obviously never attended an Australia Day celebration, seen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders singing, dancing and enjoying themselves with their families!
    Being Australian means different things to diferent people. I'm a sixth generation Australian with English, Scottish and Irish ancestors who settled in this country, lived, loved, built bridges (literaly), worked the land, ran businesses, forged relationships, fought in wars, had families, struggled and continue to do so, isn't that worth celebrating on Australia Day?