Regardless of your politics, you kind of have to agree that celebrating Australia Day on January 26th is just a little bit ridiculous.
While the arrival of the First Fleet might have been a long time ago, holding Australia Day (a day, in theory, for all of the beautiful people that make up with beautiful country) on a day that either ignores or seemingly takes pride in a violent act from European Australians towards Indigenous Australians seems a little bit on the nose, and there’s a growing movement to have the date moved to something a little less inflammatory.
It wouldn’t be the first time – it’s been held on various different dates throughout the years, and has only officially been a national holiday for all the states and territories since 1988 – that’s right, it’s only as old as ‘Die Hard‘.
The movement faces opposition from people who believe that either it was too long ago for it to really be important or that depicting European colonisation as “invasion” is a re-writing of history.
While the campaign to have the date of Australia Day changed is definitely picking up, there’s also an interim campaign running in tandem to have the Triple J ‘Hottest 100’ countdown changed to a date that isn’t Australia Day – which seems more manageable, as you’d only really have to win over people under 25, instead of every racist uncle in the country.
Despite a push to have it changed for next year, it did not go down, but people are still trying, with one group in particular trying to get A.B. Original‘s song ‘January 26‘ – a protest of Australia Day’s very awkward date – into the ‘Hottest 100‘ as a not very subtle conversation starter.
In their own words:
“Earlier this year, triple j finally listened to the thousands of voices calling for respect and had a review into the date they hold the Hottest 100 countdown. Unfortunately, they decided the whining of a noisy minority of racists on the internet was more important than showing a bit of empathy towards Australia’s first peoples and left the celebration on that day, perpetuating division and hurt.“Most young Australians don’t have Australia Day parties, because we’ve begun to recognise that ‘celebrating’ invasion, dispossession and genocide is what is commonly called a Major Dick Move. But because triple j holds its Hottest 100 countdown on that date, thousands of people across the country celebrate on a day which is one of mourning for Australia’s first people.“By voting for a song which is both an explanation and rejection of the idea of January 26 as a day of celebration – and which also happens to be a thorough banger, thanks to the effort of Briggs, Trials and Dan Sultan – we have the ability to send a message to triple j. Let’s end the division and change the date.“Vote for A.B. Original’s “January 26″ in the Hottest 100.”
It might be a bit of a stretch to say that most young Australians don’t have Australia Day parties (people love a public holiday), but otherwise it seems like a pretty solid plan.
They’ve created a Facebook event for people to show their support / get other people on board, and you can check it out right here.
Photo: Facebook / A.B. Original.