No Pride in Genocide were the words recently sprayed across a wall in bright orange paint alongside the foreshore of Botany Bay.
As Australia Day 2014 fast approaches different emotions are stirred up amongst the people who dwell here on the world's largest island and smallest continent.
January 26th is marked as the anniversary of the British First Fleet arriving in 1788, and it is celebrated as the first national day of Australia.
Nowadays many Australians enjoy this day by throwing a barbeque, hitting the beach, attending carnivals filled with rides, stalls, face painting and laughter. They know it to be a day where they are filled with pride to be Australian. It's a day off work, a long weekend, the Triple J hottest 100 countdown, a reason to be merry and chink glasses or bottles with a cheers, mate or two. A day where people are recognized for their success or welcomed as new citizens to this land.
It's a day where the Australian way of life or culture is cherished and given a thrashing, then explodes into the night with a grand finale of fireworks.
But there is more to it than this, and what occurred on this day back in 1788. The First Fleet was filled with convicts. Prisoners who were taken from their homeland far from their loved ones against their will for crimes which I heard in school ranged from things such as petty as stealing a loaf of bread. I doubt that this would have been a good time for the 1000 plus people who were now to call this foreign land home...as slaves, carrying out their punishment.
And on this land there already lived a people for tens of thousands of years before. This was their home and they had their own culture and way of living. The British settlers interrupted this in many horrendous ways. Aboriginal people to this day are affected by it, and hence refer to Australia Day as Invasion Day. And quite rightly so, as this is what it truly was. A British invasion. A take over. If it were not, then the British colonies would have adapted somewhat to the Aboriginal culture, as one does when choosing a different country as ones home.
So, this day is not celebrated by all, and now the question is brought forward to modern Australia as to whether or not the date should be changed.
Everyone has their own opinions. I think what is needed here is compassion and understanding, realisation and awareness.
In my opinion, a change is due. Australians have every right to want to celebrate belonging to this beautiful land and living in this great country. We should also count our blessings that we were born in to the modern day land of the free. As back then, the day we celebrate now there was no freedom.
And the descendants of the original people of this land have every right to want the date of this day for celebration to be changed and for it to be recognised for what it truly was.
I think it's time we open our eyes and evolve to a people who are one. We share the same land, and should strive to share the same understanding of how Australia came to be, appreciating what it is now and continuing to make it a better place for all.
We are one, but we are many...echoes the National Anthem...we share a dream, and sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are Australian.
I couldn't agree more! Although we aren't celebrating the convict arrival, and just being proud of where we live, we completely mistake the original inhabitants of this land and don't do anything to celebrate or even acknowledge their culture. It comes to a point where it's just sad, really.