On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took possession of the cove that would later become Sydney. This day has been celebrated for hundreds of years. Today, many Australians celebrate with barbecues, fireworks, picnics and other community events. Yesterday I started seeing notes to my Aussie friends on facebook wishing them a happy Australia Day. This got me wondering how the Aboriginals view this day so I decided to look it up. Thanks Wikipedia and Creative Spirits for the interesting and enlightening information.
Our Survival Day
Another Australia Day has arrived Celebrations across our land Guess they don't think what we've been through Our ancestors tried to hold our land Keep us together to protect our clans Barbecues burning and sweet tasting wine The white man's celebrating what belongs to us But we're here in the background Being proud of who we are Our red, black and yellow unites us all Saying we have survived another century Of white man's invasion Poem by Raylene Campion
I think this poem is very beautiful and telling of the struggle for the Aboriginal people during the Australia Day celebrations. This is truly not a celebration for them. Instead the day is referred to as Invasion Day, The Day of Mourning or even Survival Day. While the white population have their fun, the Aboriginal people mourn.
Bryan Andy says “There’s a saying that white Australia has a black history. It can sort of be taken in the sense that it has been a dark or unfortunate history, but it’s also true in the sense that we were here first.”
As for me, I look forward to learning more about Australia’s black history and how it is connected to Australia’s future.