Contrary to what most people think, I don’t just want to change the time, I also want to change the date. Specifically, the date of Australia Day.
For the past five months, I have toured most regions of my electorate, and one of the most common questions that people ask me is, “What do you think of Australia Day?”
I would say that while I believe that Australians need a national holiday to celebrate our common experiences and achievements, 26 January is not an appropriate date for that purpose.
26 January is not a holiday for all Australians. It is a holiday for only one of the foundational peoples of Australia. Specifically, Australians of British heritage.
It’s hard for an indigenous person or even a new migrant from Europe or the Middle East to feel a sense of connection with the actions of men in redcoats from over 200 years ago.
The most logical replacement for Australia Day would be a holiday marking the federation of Australia, but one that’s held a bit later in the month on 19 January.
It’s no secret that secessionism is on the rise in Western Australia. Perhaps a holiday that commemorates our shared bonds as Australians will serve as a reminder of our strength as a united country?