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Australia Day No Celebration for Tasmania's First People

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Tags: Invasion Day, Tasmanian Aboriginals, Reconciliation

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson

Each year, on the 26th of January, Australia is a nation divided by its history. While many Tasmanians celebrate with pride, our First People feel only the pain of a country taken at the point of a gun.

My Green colleagues, Andrea Dawkins, Nick McKim and I are joining Aboriginal Tasmanians at their Invasion Day march in Hobart today because we believe it's time to change the date on which Australians celebrate who they are as a nation.

If we are serious about true reconciliation, this is a conversation we must have as Australians - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

As the national debate over becoming a Republic gathers renewed steam, now is the right time to find a new, more respectful date on which to celebrate our national identity.

It won't be easy, but it is the right thing to do by our First People, and by every Australian who feels uncomfortable celebrating Australia Day on the day Aboriginal Australians lost their country.