Freo's View

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT AUSTRALIA DAY ANYWAY?

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, history, indigenous by freoview on November 26, 2016

The media and social media hype and hot air about the City of Fremantle celebrating Australia Day on January 28 instead of January 26 needs to get some balance by pointing out some simple facts.

Historically Australia Day is only meaningful for people in NSW. “Australia Day is a national public holiday commemorating the founding on 26 January 1788 of the colony of New South Wales.” It celebrates the arrival at Sydney Cove of the first 11 convict ships-the first fleet-from England, so the day is historically meaningless to Western Australia and all other Australian states and territories.

Fremantle was only settled by the British in 1829, so 41 years after the east coast, and was the start of the Swan River Colony, hence we celebrate Foundation Day, renamed WA Day in 2012, in June each year

A far more meaningful date for Australia Day celebrations would be January 1, where in 1901 the six separate British colonies agreed to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia Day is quite a recent national day as it started only in 1994, twenty years ago.

It is funny that there is outrage about Fremantle’s Australia Day changes when Australia can’t even celebrate the birthday of the Queen of England, the head of our nation, on the same day and states celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday on different days, so why is ‘Straya Day’ so important?

Australia Day celebrations in Perth and Fremantle have become a day for boozers and bogans where police and security have their hands full trying to keep the drunks in check and there are many complaints about behaviour at South Beach, Bathers Beach, etc. during the fireworks.

Now Fremantle will have two days of celebration, no doubt to the delight of the Fishing Boat Harbour traders who will rub their hands, with dollar signs lighting up their eyes, as they now can cash in twice, once during the fireworks they organise and the second time during the John Butler, Mama Kin One Day in Fremantle concert on the Esplanade.

Those who believe it is political correctness gone mad that Fremantle shows sensitivity and acknowledges the terrible wrongs of the past toward Aboriginal people probably also believe the Jews should just get on with it and over the Holocaust, like our indigenous people should stop whingeing about the Stolen Generations, the massacres, Sister Kate, the Rottnest Quod indigenous prison, and the abuse inflicted on Aboriginal boys and girls, etc. Yep, just get on with it hey, because us Wadjelas want to celebrate an irrelevant day with very expensive and polluting fireworks.

It is not a big deal at all that the City of Fremantle is not celebrating Australia Day on January 26 because the day means historically nothing to our city and our state, so my advise it get over it and have fun all long weekend in our great city!

Roel Loopers

5 Responses

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  1. Paula Amaral said, on November 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

    It seems to me that changing a date that offends some people to a date that offends no one, is an insignificant thing when you compare it to the offense in question.
    Like you Roel, I fail to see why is it so hard to understand!

  2. freoview said, on November 26, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I based my facts on reading up on the history, so these facts are correct.

    Yes emotive words because I feel strongly about what happened to our indigenous people, so nothing to apologise for on my behalf.

    Roel

  3. Mary Callan said, on November 26, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Dear Roel
    I usually agree with your well thought comments.
    However I fully understand the angst and hot air about changing Australia Day, it is steeped in our history short though it may be in comparison with Europe or other civilizations. It is a happy day for everybody of every creed, color and religion, young and old alike. Christmas with all its hype and commercialism carries lots of stress, New Year is wonderful but not at all family orientated as a celebration. Australia Day is a day which can be enjoyed by everybody, the young and old, the rich and the poor. I personally really enjoy seeing the long lines of traffic with happy smiling children and sometimes the family dog looking out of car windows after a stress free non commercial day of picnics, BBQ’s and local fireworks. The City of Fremantle have decided to celebrate on the 28th January with 3 bands. In my opinion it is arrogant in the extreme to think that this is an appropriate substitute. Does the city have a plan in 2019 when the 28th falls on a Monday?
    Mary Callan

  4. gnangarra said, on November 26, 2016 at 7:40 am

    couple of small points, NSW originally included all other states over time each state was segmented off and at one point NSW also included New Zealand. NSW established a military out post in Albany 26 December 1826 and then 21 Jan 1827 Major Lockyer took possession of WA for the British Crown. Albany became part of the Swan River Colony on 7 March 1831… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany,_Western_Australia#British_settlement

    In 1935 all states started using the term “Australia Day” to referr to Jan 26, it wasnt until 1994 that all states had aligned their public holiday specifically to that date. 1938 it was declared Aboriginal day of morning, In 1988 it became Invasion day.

    Commemorating Australia day on a date other than 26 January has a longer tradition than commemorating the actual day, City of Fremantle is doing nothing new if anything they are truer to the way previous generations have acknowledged the day

  5. Clayton Gunning said, on November 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Roel, certainly not your best piece…….
    Opinion with scant regard for facts and clear bias.

    Historically Australia Day is only meaningful for people in NSW. “Australia Day is a national public holiday commemorating the founding on 26 January 1788 of the colony of New South Wales.” It celebrates the arrival at Sydney Cove of the first 11 convict ships-the first fleet-from England, so the day is historically meaningless to Western Australia and all other Australian states and territories.

    •This is not a fact, it is simply your opinion; that is far from correct. Australia is on country under one flag, if you want to discuss, debate and change the flag and national anthem that’s another discussion all together.

    The west coast was only settled in 1829, so 41 years after the east coast, and was the start of the Swan River Colony, hence we celebrate Foundation Day, renamed WA Day in 2012, in June each year

    •Australia Day is a national public holiday, is WA not part of Australia?

    Australia Day is quite a quite recent national day as it started only in 1994, twenty years ago.

    •Roel, time for a fact check! You can retract this one yourself.

    A far more meaningful date for Australia Day celebrations would be January 1, where in 1901 the six separate British colonies agreed to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

    • This may be so, and I don’t disagree, but it could also see Australia Day lost in the NY celebrations?

    It is funny that there is outrage about Fremantle’s Australia Day changes when Australia can’t even celebrate the birthday of the Queen of England, the head of our nation, on the same day and states celebrate them on different days, so why is ‘Straya Day’ so important?

    • Australia Day is as important as any other National Day. It was Australia’s first public holiday. The change of date to be more embracing to ALL Australians is another issue. This argument doesn’t cut it. You wouldn’t question the importance of Christmas.

    Australia Day celebrations in Perth and Fremantle have become a day for boozers and bogans where police and security have their hands full trying to keep the drunks in check and there are many complaints about behaviour at South Beach, Bathers Beach, etc. during the fireworks.

    * Roel, you are the first person to judge everyone as a person, black, white or brindle, religious or atheist, rich or poor and now you generalise about the 1% of shitheads every country has?

    Now Fremantle will have two days of celebration, no doubt to the delight of the Fishing Boat Harbour traders who will rub their hands, with dollar signs lighting up their eyes, as they now can cash in twice, once during the fireworks they organise and the second time during the John Butler, Mama Kin concert on the Esplanade.

    Those who believe it is political correctness gone mad that Fremantle shows sensitivity and acknowledges the terrible wrongs of the past toward Aboriginal people probably also believe the Jews should just get on with it and over the Holocaust, like our indigenous people should stop whingeing about the Stolen Generations, the massacres, Sister Kate and the abuse inflicted on Aboriginal boys and girls, etc. Yep, just get on with it hey, because us Wadjelas want to celebrate an irrelevant day with very expensive and polluting fireworks.

    • Emotive words. Let’s sit down, take a breath, and consider everyone’s opinions. I support moving Australia Day from the 26 January out of respect for the First Australians but not through trying to denegrate the concept of having a National Day.

    It is not a big deal at all that the City of Fremantle is not celebrating Australia Day on January 26 because the day means nothing to our city and our state, so my advise it get over it and have fun all long weekend in our great city!

    • Having been a kid in the Lord Mayor’s Office in Sydney during the Bicentenary and involved with the marking of events let me say that ALL public holidays must be celebrated on the day they fall, the nearest Monday to facilitate a long weekend doesn’t cut it and over time reduces the significance of the day.


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