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Australia Day—Always Was Always Will Be

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 27 January 2024 | Views [205]

Australia Day Drone Light Show (Canberra Times photo)

Australia Day Drone Light Show (Canberra Times photo)

OFFICIALLY AUSTRALIA DAY CELEBRATES the day Australia was “discovered,” January 26, 1788—roughly the equivalent of Columbus Day in the US. Indigenous Australians vehemently disagree—they have been in Australia for 60,000 years and isn’t possession nine-tenths of the law? 


                 250 Indigenous "Tribes" of Australia


    Captain Cook Fountain, no longer PC


                Free Metro rides on Australia Day


                Metro Art


                       Alternate means of transportation

The Indigenous slogan “Always was. Always will be” is being embraced by more and more non-indigenous Australians who recognize that their Indigenous brothers and sisters see Australia Day as a day of mourning, “Invasion Day” putting a damper on traditional Australia Day celebrations. 


             "Traditional" Aussie Day picnic


                       Seku and Gabby


                 The newest Australians

While we were waiting for the Drones to launch we chatted up a young couple we were sharing a bench with. Gabby, from Myanmar on a permanent visa, seemed surprised we had been to her home country. Seku, until recently Liberian and now one of the newest Australians, asked “Did you see me on television?” No, but we have since read about him on-line. “Seku Drame was also among the 16 new citizens at the Canberra ceremony. He arrived in Australia from Liberia 15 years ago as part of Australia’s humanitarian program and started year 10 to catch up on education he missed due to his birth country’s civil war. Now studying engineering and commerce at university, he said it was an honour to be an Australian citizen.” Canberra City News


                      We have Liftoff!


                    Hopping kangaroos


                     Aboriginal Art star


                     A new direction for Australia Day

The Australia Day events this year were nothing like the drum-thumping, horn-blazing military tattoo we saw in Canberra in 2005. And not once did we hear “Waltzing Matilda!” We hopped the Metro just outside our apartment—all public transport was free today—down to Lake Burley Griffin for what turned out to be the most amazing Drone Light Show, a melange of high-tech, Indigenous imagery and traditional Aussie patriotism. Oi! Oi! Oi!  And while the City Fathers deserve kudos for moving in the right direction, I imagine neither traditionalists or the Indigenous community are totally satisfied. Baby steps versus “We want it now!”


                Thoroughbred Park


                  Classy Lassies


                      At least our horse finished

This afternoon we took the Metro in the other direction (pensioners’ rate) to Thoroughbred Park for the afternoon races. Admission is free but you still have to show some green to make a wager. It most certainly wasn’t the Melbourne Cup although some ladies dressed as if it were. We had a nice time and only lost ten dollars.



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