As I read the numerous arguments and see a positive ground swell to Change The Date, I’ve not been not sure what do today. Previously, I’ve organised a game of cricket and a picnic at a local park with friends featuring ‘80’s cricket moustaches, sausages, and lamingtons. It’s become our tradition on this day many know as Australia Day.
Like other well-meaning Australians, I supported the campaign to have the billboards returned, retweeting with warmth in my heart. And I thought “Awesome. We do have a decent and inclusive society and what a great way to show it”. Bravo.
However there was one tweet among the for and against that stood out about how Australia Day has nothing to do with inclusiveness. “…to think what the ASRC could do with that $150,000. Will there bee a billboard with smiling indigenous kids on Invasion Day?”
It encapsulated what I heard comedian Charlie Brendon said in a recent FOFOP podcast about how “Australia doesn’t know when it is being racist”.
I thought about this last night after I messaged a few friends to say “we’re not celebrating but we’re having a game of cricket”. Do I not know when I am being racist?
Then this explanation on why we need to Change The Date gave me an answer.