It’s great that TWT is hosting a discussion about Australia Day.
I agree with Anthony Roberts MP (TWT 24 Jan) that we are a mature nation that can both celebrate the arrival of Europeans in 1788 and acknowledge the loss suffered by Aboriginal people.
When I did Australian history at school, ages ago, we learned a lot about
the hardship and isolation faced by the European settlers and the great
achievements that they made.
But it is only fairly recently that I’ve learned more about the downside of
that success. After careful research one historian has conservatively
estimated that between 1790 and 1928 deaths across Australia numbered 2,000 – 2,500 for Europeans and 20,000 for Aborigines.
I believe this requires acknowledgement, while we also celebrate Australia’s multicultural achievements.
Can we do both on Australia Day?