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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Greens candidate : Stop celebrating 26th January as Australia’s national day

Greens candidate in the Bega by-election, Peter Haggar is calling on Governments to stop celebrating 26th January as Australia’s national day.

“To celebrate a day that marks the start of invasion, dispossession and ongoing violence is disrespectful to First Nations people and divides us as a country,” he said.

"It has been heartening to witness the greater awareness amongst local people that the

electorate of Bega is on Yuin country," he said "but the high rates of incarceration, the

poorer health outcomes and the fractious relationship between State bodies like Fisheries NSW and local people needs to be addressed".

“For Aboriginal people across the continent, 26 January marks a day of mourning and the Greens would like to see the Aboriginal flag flown at half-mast on this day, to represent grief and remembrance,” he said.

Mr Haggar said that a Day of Mourning is not a new idea, but it is an important one.

“In 1938, grassroots Aboriginal activists came together to call for a National Day of


“More than eighty years on, this question is still unresolved. The countless injustices

Aboriginal people have faced began on 26 January 1788, but they continue today.

“We need a legally binding Treaty to ensure that First Nations people and the state speak to one another, for the first time, as sovereign to sovereign.

“It would radically reshape the relationship between First Nations Peoples and other

Australians.“At a time of deep ecological crisis, I believe, such a reshaping is in the interests of all Australians,” he said.

“Changing the date would be a start, but this is not just about a date.”

In 1915 a committee to celebrate Australia Day was formed, and the date chosen was 30 July, on which many fund-raising efforts were run to support the war effort. It was also held in July in subsequent years of World War I: on 28 July 1916, 27 July 1917, and 26 July 1918.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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