Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson
The Greens welcome Hobart City Council's decision to review their Australia Day celebrations and write to the Federal Government about changing the date. There is a strong and growing voice within the community calling for that change.
We encourage the Premier, as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, to write to the Prime Minister and ask him to show leadership on the change of date for celebrating our national day.
The 26th of January is the day Aboriginal Australians lost their country. To them, it will always be 'Invasion Day'. This is not a time to celebrate and it does not unite us all as Australians.
Everyone should be able to celebrate being Australian, and what that means. This country's national day shouldn't be one that is distressing and painful to our first people.
The Greens have repeatedly called on the Premier to lobby his Canberra colleagues to change the date of Australia Day to one all Australians can celebrate. He continues to ignore the calls from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, despite wanting to 'reset the relationship' with Aboriginal Tasmanians.
*Text of Ms O'Connor's Notice of Motion, tabled today, is below.
NOTICE OF MOTION
Cassy O’Connor MP
On tomorrow to move -
That the House
1. Recognises that Australia Day on 26 January is a distressing commemoration for many Aboriginal Tasmanians, who also describe it as 'Invasion Day', the day they lost their country;
2. Notes that many non-Aboriginal Australians also feel conflicted celebrating Australia Day on 26 January because it is a date that divides, rather than unites us;
3. Understands Flinders Island Council has not celebrated Australia Day on 26 January for several years;
4. Commends Kingborough Council for reconsidering its Australia Day celebrations and moving the formerly-Australia Day awards, now Kingborough Awards, to January 6th;
5. Congratulates Hobart City Council on the decision to support Greens' Alderman, Helen Burnet's motion to review council Australia Day celebrations and consult with the Aboriginal community about a more appropriate date, and write to the Federal Government about changing the date of Australia Day; and
6. Calls on the Premier and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to help unite Tasmanians by following the lead set by a growing number of Councils. (4 April 2017)