Sunday, 25 January 2015

It's the Australia Day long weekend

There are many more nations than just 'One Nation' here. Source
I'm not particularly patriotic, I have to say - and when people get all aggro about how awesome their country is, somehow implying other countries are just not so awesome - it rubs me the wrong way. I guess for me, having Kiwi parents, having been born in England, and living in Australia, it's also not so simple deciding where "my home" is - though whenever I'm asked, I do say Australia, and I definitely wouldn't consider England or NZ home.

I am happy to live where I live, even though it's one of the sunniest places on earth and I am prone to skin cancers, so I like to hide away from the sun. ;) I'm lucky to live in this country, not because it's SO AWESOME but because I am SO PRIVILEGED to be able to live without fear of persecution, oppression, etc.

It's not a perfect country, but then no country is - though I think some northern European places do come pretty close. But I'm still lucky to live here - and it is a beautiful place to live. Even if I sort of wish we had some decent hills and mountains here on the West Coast. And some snow, damn it!

The point? Monday is Australia Day, which is a 'celebration' of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Many people see this day as the anniversary of the birth of the nation, but of course for the indigenous people it was the birth of a nightmare that is still ongoing today. It was the aim of white Australians in those early years to basically wipe out everything to do with indigenous culture - and to wipe them out as a physical people, too. In some cases irreparable damage was done, but White Australia did fail in their goal to destroy a people. At least there's that.

There is an offensive attitude amongst many white Australians - "get over it!" Whenever I hear someone say this, I want to ask, "So how did you get over genocide when your people went through it?" Anyway, I don't know quite what I wanted to say with this post. I guess I just wanted to give you an idea of the sorts of things I think about whenever Australia Day rolls around.


  1. In the United States, we screwed over the Indians, but we never went as far as attempted genocide.
    Sorry you don't get snow.

    1. It wasn't a case of concentration camps or anything - but it was an insidious attempt at 'diluting' the Aboriginal gene pool by moving Aboriginal children to white families, etc.

  2. I often consider have very lucky I am to have been born in the U.S. We take so much for granted, as if it's our right, but . . . Any one of us might've been born somewhere else, a much harsher place with fewer resources. So I'm thankful every day for things like clean water and easy access to the things we need (even if our healthcare system is a wreck and our educational system questionable). I'm no super Patriot or whatever, just mindful of my blessings.

    1. Yes, we are lucky - and it's why we get to bitch about politics and complain when things don't go the way we think they should. Many people around the world don't have that privilege.

  3. Monday 26th January 2015

    Dear Trish,

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I don't know that much about Australia, but you certainly have made me curious. I feels so honest, what you write!

    I wish I could meet you one day. You've got a good head on your shoulders.

    Sending you some virtual snow from Sweden!

    Best wishes

  4. I feel the same, grateful that I live where I do but still not into the super patriotic stuff that some people love. I hate that kind of ethnocentricity.

  5. Hi Trish.

    Well guess who posted about Australia Day too? I live next to Musgrave Park in South Brisbane and it is 'legally' Aboriginal land. They always demonstrate here when something comes up like the G20 and Australia Day. They had their 'Sorry day' there yesterday and why not?

    I'm considering giving up blogging as I just can't seem to get my feed fixed. Some say their feeds are updating, some not. I see my link is alive here, but you haven't visited for ages, so you may think I'm not blogging. I'll give it a couple more goes before signing out...(((sigh...blast)))

    In case you're interested...

    Denise :-)

  6. "Get over it" is one of the most offensive things anyone could say in that situation. Makes me so made when I hear something like that!

  7. I don't believe in "get over it" but I don't carry the guilt of my ancestors. That was them, not me. And there is hardly a culture without a black mark on their record. The trick is to learn from the past and try as best we can to stop being such jerks to each other.


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!