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Home >  Blog >  Politics Ahead: Two holidays you say? Yes! Let's!

Politics Ahead: Two holidays you say? Yes! Let's!

Posted by Meredith Papas on 25 September 2018

Federal MP Ken Wyatt is on the money! I love what he has said about the prospect of a day to celebrate our wonderful indigenous cultures in this country.

I think there is certainly a place for an Australia Day celebration on January 26. It is not just a day for celebrating what would mark the beginning of a much-malaised period of genocide, elitist colonialism and two centuries of stolen children, ignorance and hurt.

Yes, it is a horrible past we bear the crosses of, and never can we trivialise such a blight on our national identity. Rivers ran red with the blood of men women and children who were bludgeoned, shot, poisoned with arsenic in their flour, and slaughtered in bloody battles. Today, even now, the scars are still raw and we have a debt of remembrance to pay.

Surely, though, there might be room - amid the citizenship celebrations and the lamingtons and the thong-throwing competitions - for the remembrance and respect our indigenous are due.

But perhaps there is another way of looking at Australia Day - a way that so many of us look at this day here and now.

January 26 might also be seen as a day which marks the birth of our multiculturalism, diversity and wonderous point of difference to every other nation in the world.

That is something to be celebrated. 

So now, to Ken Wyatt's view, which has been given some kudos and credibility by a number of indigenous elders and leaders, and also has backing fromour new PM, Scott Morrison.

Mr Wyatt has mooted a separate holiday to mark our Indigenous heritage, culture and status as our nation's first people.

Yes! Brilliant idea! Another holiday!!!

That' not to trivialise, either. Precisely the opposite!

There is no greater homage could be paid in Australia to have a holiday declared in honour.

Maybe we make it May 26, which is National Sorry Day - not with a view to lament and commiserate, but rather to celebrate a day we finally grew. We grew up enough to be able to apologise  - yes, on belhalf of ourselves, but integrally, as a nation regretful of parts of our past.

We live in a country where the fact we mostly (there are still a few tardy moral stragglers) whose "live and let live" approach to our lifestyle is one of our most appealing cultural attributes.

I'm not saying we keep January 26 because that's how it has always been. Nothing good comes from that thinking. But I am saying that, nowadays, that date means a great deal for many different people for many different reasons, and the first fleet and English settlement has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Most people do mark the day by remembering from where we have come, and our journey to date. But this is a day about all Australians - not just the Brits! It's for all of us. That's why we should keep it.

It is the Aussie Way to see our way clear through concilliation. Ken Wyatt is on to something here.

As a nation we have the chance to find a reasonable, if not perfect, compromise here. We can still acknowledge the horrors of our past while celebrating where we are now. We can embrace two days of celebration and commemoration.

I don't know. Maybe this wouldn't work. And not everyone will agree. But this is a debate I have generally erred to the side of shifting January 26 on account of the hurt it caused a very important part of our beautiful national community.

But what if, in true Aussie style, we could have it all? What if we could find a temperate and measured solution which might be of satisfaction - if not joy - to everyone?

That is the Aussie way, isn't it?

And surely that in itself is worth two days to celebrate!


#aussieway #australiaday #sorryday #reconcilliation #howaboutit #timeforcommonsense #letshaveanotherholiday #indigenousrecognition #multiculturalism

Author: Meredith Papas
About: WORDS In business they are your most powerful tool; but use them poorly, and they'll be your undoing. Enter, Meredith Papas and iScribe Consulting. Words are Meredith's business. For the past 20 years Meredith has used the written word as her tool of trade. She cut her teeth as a journalist in Regional Queensland, where she specialised in business, agriculture and industry writing, as well as penning features and profiles on regional businesses and identities. She honed her skills as a sub-editor and proof reader, and then took on leadership roles as a newspaper editor in Mount Isa, Gladstone and Mackay. Add to that, roles as a regional editor and then senior group content editor for one of Asia-Pacific's largest regional media organisations, and it rounds out a solid skill set which spans the full gamut of high-level professional writing. Meredith has a simple philosophy: Everyone has a story to tell. But it's not what you have to say - it's how you say it. From professional bios, to business capability statements; CVs to business cases; funding submissions to content for your website, Meredith will work with you to make sure your clients know exactly what you're about. It's insight. It's experience. It's your story to tell. So, tell it.
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