Kelly, Sean: Let’s celebrate Australia but not on 26 January

Kelly, Sean

It’s time to change our traditions: let’s celebrate Australia – but not on 26 January‘, The Monthly Today, 25 January 2016

One of a number of articles (this year and previous years) on the theme of finding a better date for national celebration. Looks at elements of unfairness in our egalitarian society (marriage inequality, treatment of asylum seekers) and suggests a need to balance celebration with a commitment to change.

Australia Day is problematic as a national day – Martin Flanagan called it ‘our Confederate flag’ – and Kelly proposes as one possible alternative the day on which Australians vote in a referendum to become a republic. Another possibility is the day on which settler Australians and Indigenous Australians sign a treaty. ‘There are still plenty of things to celebrate about this country – but the day that white people began taking it away from indigenous people is not one of them.’

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