- The City of Fremantle has made huge progressive steps in changing its Australia Day Celebrations to a different date.
- Australia Day has been under ridicule, as it marks the historical date in which Australia was taken from Aboriginal Australians.
- Fremantle have hoped to make a positive change to a culturally insensitive holiday, however have received an array of criticism from politicians and aggravated Australians.
Australia day has been under ridicule, particularly over the past couple of years, for being placed on a culturally insensitive date. The 26th of January marks the so-called colonisation of Australia; a colonisation that lead to mass genocide of Aboriginal Australians and has resulted in major tension among indigenous Australians and white Australians. Because of this, many have renamed it ‘Invasion Day’, and have, especially over the past few years, chosen to boycott the holiday to stand by Aboriginal Australians, and send a message to the Australian Government that the holiday is offensive and outdated. Many campaigns and groups have been demanding Australia change the date.
However, as of yet, there has been no indication that the date will be changing, including radio station Triple J stating they will, unfortunately, not be moving their Hottest 100 Day to a less insensitive date, which has always coincided with the Australia Day celebrations.
But a recent announcement has been made that the city of Fremantle have made the decision to cancel their usual celebrations and move them to two days later, on the 28th, instead. The celebration will feature a free show including performances from artists such as John Butler and Dan Sultan, and hopes to be a starting point in raising further awareness of the controversial holiday.
With drastic changes like this, no matter how small a city, comes plenty of criticism. While many are celebrating and embracing the new day, there are also a large number of aggravated Australians who aren’t a fan.
Among the social media swarm, there have been shouts of the decision being ‘unaustralian’, and further throws at a politically correct culture that has become popular over the years, particularly among the younger generations.
There has also been criticism claiming that the change is meddling with race politics unnecessarily. Noongar elder and West Australian of the year, Robert Isaacs, has voiced that he doesn’t agree with the decision either.
As of now, the change seems harmless, as it will not affect any other city’s celebrations. And whether you will be celebrating on the 26th or not, Fremantle has still sparked a dialogue about the history of Australia, and is hopefully going to inspire positive changes for the rest of the country.