Thoughts on Australia Day / Invasion Day

Wesley Enoch, Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company, and always a wise voice from the Aboriginal community, wrote this about the significance of what we have chosen to commemorate today. I found it both insightful and moving, and (with his permission) wanted to share it:

There is something in our awkwardness with history that makes us think differently. There’s something in our lack of confidence that makes us modest and caring. There’s something in our geographic isolation that makes us build firm lasting relationships.

On a day like today I am reminded that we should be the best at difference, modesty, caring and relationships. But sometimes we are overtaken by our awkwardness, lack of confidence and isolation and we do terrible things to ourselves and others.

If I am to mark this day in any way at all, it will be to remember to be the best we can be as a country and not be overtaken by our fears, the hyperbole or the pressure to conform.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, history, indigenous

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. Perspicacious, eloquent and more.
    I ended up copping out today on my original intention to spend the afternoon at the Yabun Survival Day festival – it was just too hot and I didn’t feel up to it.
    I very much like the idea of remembering on this day examples of the best we can be.

  2. Some of Tony Abbott’s thought on Australia Day, from a speech published on his website – “It is a proud people that you are joining. We had inauspicious beginnings. The first lot of Australians were chosen by the finest judges in England, not always for good reasons, and from that rather inauspicious beginning we have become a rich, a free and a fair society which has contributed so much to the wider world in good times and in not so good times.”
    The opposite of thoughtful and moving. It’s another game of “Slime or Stupidity?” (as First dog on the moon puts it).

  3. Just saw this on Twitter:

    This is the best photo from Australia Day I’ve seen. One for Cory’s wall?
    — Mr Denmore (@MrDenmore) January 27, 2013

  4. Oh, Mummy! He really just said that the first Australians were the convicts!? (I don’t know why I’m shocked, it *is* Abbott).
    That’s a really lovely quote. The sudden outpourings of hostile nationalistic b.s. that cropped up on Facebook from people I expected better of was disheartening.
    I wish that instead, people would mark ‘Australia Day’ by this sort of meditative reflection rather than knee-jerk, ill-disguised White Pride. 😦

%d bloggers like this: