Ken Boddie

8 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Australia Day or Invasion Day?

Australia Day or Invasion Day?

I write this on 26 January as the sun starts to set on another auspicious day for some of my fellow Australians, yet a day of mourning for so many others.  

'Australia Day' marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet into Port Jackson, New South Wales in 1788, along with the associated raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, who was to become the first Governor of New South Wales.  Although he is credited with the success of establishing the first British convict settlement in NSW and with creating the first permanent European community on the continent of Terra Australis, despite having to overcome rebellious convicts and troops, famine and sickness, he failed to establish peace with the Aboriginal peoples who were then, and still remain, the original Australians.  These First Nation people and their culture is now recognised by scientists as having been established and maintained over a timespan of some 60,000 years, and herein lies a problem which appears to me is becoming discussed more frequently and more vocally as each Australia Day eventuates and passes.

The problem is that the day many Australians celebrate as Australia Day, has nothing to do with the establishment of the eventual uniting of our various states and territories in one federation, nor is it a day of celebration for one and all. It is understandably seen by many First Nation people as 'Invasion Day' and represents for them a loss of their rights to their land, a loss of family, and a loss of the right to practice their culture.  It is also a day for some to remember little told tales of the massacres of their ancestral brothers and sisters.

Perhaps the simplest way to view this contrary opinion to celebration is to see 26 January as,  

The day Australia celebrates "the coming of one race at the expense of another" - Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell.
This year, armed with a deeper awareness of the opinion, not only of those relatively recent inhabitants from a European culture and background, but also of those whose heritage is arguably the oldest continuous culture worldwide, I chose to let my own opinions broaden and benefit from listening to open debate.

It follows that today's national holiday was not, for me, a day to celebrate, but a day to read and sit in quiet reflection.

"It [Australia Day] shouldn't be this frivolous, frothy sort of stuff about barbecues and coloured towels and spending the day at the beach. It should be, you know what does Australia Day mean for all Australians?"
Professor Jakelin Troy, University of Sydney
As we Australians continue to grow and evolve as a nation and, hopefully, eventually become a republic, free from our legal and paradoxical subservience to UK, let us ponder on and look forward to: 
  • celebrating a more aptly chosen day that is truly representative of freedom and egalitarianism for all our cultures; and 
  • merging our behaviour towards true recognition and inclusion of those whose heritage precedes what, for many, is currently a 'Day of Invasion'. 


11a4c4cd.jpgWhen not researching the weird or the wonderful, the comical or the cultured, the sinful or the serious, I chase my creative side, the results of which can be seen as selected photographs of my travels on my website at:

The author of the above, Ken Boddie, besides being a sometime poet and occasional writer, is an enthusiastic photographer, rarely leisure-travelling without his Canon, and loves to interact with other like-minded people with diverse interests.

Ken's three day work week (part time commitment) as a consulting engineer allows him to follow his photography interests, and to plan trips to an ever increasing list of countries and places of scenic beauty and cultural diversity.

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Jerry Fletcher

8 months ago #24

Ken, Far as I know there is no where. i assume there must be someplace but John Rylance put it very nicely

I think I get what you mean--scary enough

John Rylance

8 months ago #22

22 Probably not as in so many places people are trying to make out they are indigenous by trying to indigenize area by attempting to bring it under their control

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #21

OK i give up, Jerry. Is there anywhere?

Jerry Fletcher

8 months ago #20

Ken, thanks forth insight. Is there any where around the globe where and indiginous people weren't overrun? That certainly says something about the human race! Ans so it goes.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #19

This platform is for genuine writers and those who wish to comment on their posts. There is no place for blatant advertising on the comments string of participating writers.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #18

Another blatant advertiser, at #18 in the comments string, for you to remove please, Javier \ud83d\udc1d CR.

Could be "shoveling the shit" is an idiomatic expression, I guess...

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #16

You’ve totally lost me there, Joyce. Perhaps you’ve been watching too many episodes of “Days of our Lives” ... “Like sands through the hourglass”? 😟

Ken Boddie I keep having this crazy dream of someone filling the halls of Congress with pure, sterile beach sand and taking up a collection to buy all its denizens pails and shovels. They may already have shovels, though. I'd hate to think they're using their hands.

I keep having this crazy dream of someone filling the halls of Congress with pure, sterile beach sand and taking up a collection to buy all its denizens pails and shovels. They may already have shovels, though. I'd hate to think they're using their hands.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #13

you don’t need to be an activist, Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee, to apply commonsense to fixing this date problem. Unfortunately it appears that you can’t be a politician to fix it either. 🙁

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #12

Needs to be addressed in parallel with becoming a republic and choosing our own flag I reckon, Paul Walters. Living in hope but not holding my breath. 🤨

I admit my lag in commenting was due to being acquainted with a half-and-half from your neck of the woods. Her offspring are more aboriginal than her. She never speaks of it and I learned of her heritage through her wonderfully written profile. And wouldn't you guess--she is an activist, too. :)

Paul Walters

8 months ago #10

Ken Boddie Ah January and the ongoing debate. Need a really progressive government to tackle this one

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #9

You’re welcome, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador. Posts without puns, Are rare for the ones, Who love, most of all, wit and glee, But, son of a gun, This post with no pun, Unleashed thoughts I didn’t foresee.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #8

I understand, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, that the numbers in favour of change are getting higher every year here. I suggest this is due to more open debate than previously, resulting in appreciation, by more, of the suffering of some.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #7

Thanks, Robert Cormack. This was one of those posts I often write in order to find answers ... and end up finding more questions. Cheers, mate.

Thanks for the insightful and interesting post Ken Boddie.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

8 months ago #5

After reading your post one more time, I couldn't but remember other nations around the world and the histories of their countries created to the detriment of indigenous people, and whose members have been treated disgracefully until this day. That goes for indigenous people in the US as well. I see why many stand up for changing the date of Australia day.

Robert Cormack

8 months ago #4

I like this, Ken, both from a historical perspective and obviously an emotional one. Very well written (as always). Enjoy the celebration, in your own way, with the typical introspection you bring to everything. G'day, mate.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

8 months ago #3

Food for thought, indeed. 🤔 I'll comment when having more time.

Ken Boddie

8 months ago #2

And in full sight too. 😂 Thanks, Mate!

Pascal Derrien

8 months ago #1

Insightful !!!

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