It’s not un-Australian. It’s not unpatriotic.
It’s not anti-fun or political correctness gone mad.
So for a group of people, particularly the people whose ancestors lived in this country and took care of it for millions of years, the 26th of January is always going to be Invasion Day.
Why do people get so upset about Australia Day?
Primary school history taught every Australian kid that on the 26th of January 1788, the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in NSW. Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag and declared Britain’s sovereignty over Australia. By planting that flag in the soil, Arthur Phillip announced to the world that Britain owned Australia.
Flash-forward some 228 years, and we’re celebrating that day with a public holiday and some form of meat product.
But not everyone sees the day that Arthur Phillip waded through the waves of Port Jackson as a day to celebrate.
Because Australia was already owned. There were people here. The people who had lived here for millions of years. The Aboriginal people owned this land millenia before anyone in Britain even thought about building a boat.
Indigenous Australians were brutalised by the British population. In some cases, entire communities were wiped out. They were treated like a slave race. Even into the 20th century, the Australian government stole the children of Aboriginal women.
The 26th of January was a day that British settlement in Australia began. But it was also the day that things went very wrong for the traditional owners of our country.
There’s a lot of pain associated with 26 January, and using a name like Invasion Day tells that story quite clearly.