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Discuss About The Challenging Colonization And Nationalism.

“Change the date” is a debate for or against the Australian January 26th day (News, 2017, p. 14). In every 26th day of January, it is a day that all Australians celebrate the pride of being Australian’s. It is a day marked with great public celebrations and remembrance of history.  On the contrary, this is the same day that Governor Arthur Phillip raised the Great Britain Flag at Sydney Cove, marking the begin of British sovereignty on the land . The day is marked by family and community events which symbolize the countries diverse society as well as the nation’s landscape (Calma, 2018, p. Online). These activities symbolize the country’s history.  Awards and ceremonies are also conducted to welcome new members to the Australian community. Many of the Australians view this day as a day to celebrate the achievements, culture and the lifestyle of the country. Public events always denominate this day. On the contrary, Indigenous Australians are not happy with this day (Dean, 2018, p. Online). They view it as a day of mourning. This is because, the day marked destruction of their cultural practices by the colonizers. There has been a debate revolving around calling for shifting of this day to another day that has less significance to the Australian community (Walter, 2018, p. Online). In this paper, I will critically analyze the reasons as to why it is of importance to change the change the Australian date.

Colonization is the process through which a foreign individual invades and controls an area that has hosted indigenous people (Bongiorno, 2018, p. Online). When prisons in America became full, a crew was sent to Australia to build prisons there. This marked the start of control of the Aborigines. They were forced out of their land, beaten and killed (Jalata, 2013, p. 2). The problem was that the indigenous could not sustain such injuries and diseases due to their weak immune system. This resulted in the death of quite a number of them. Those who survived the harsh treatments were taken as slaves. Women were forced to do anything from gathering food to general cleaning. Consequently, many of the women were also turned into sex slaves. This made the number of the Aborigines to decline drastically until almost none was left.

There was massive decline in the Aborigines culture (Gunew, 1999, p. 15). They were not able to tell their stories as they used to due to massive lack of enough time to do so as well as lack of numbers to tell such stories to (Macnamara & Crawford, 2013, p. 6). Their history was also lost. At the time of colonization, Aborigines had quite many different languages whereby almost half of them got extinct due to killings from the colonizers. All this is having happened due to the coming of the colonizers, Australians, find it very difficult to celebrate their national day on a date that marked the beginning of the colonization. One cannot dare celebrate a day which their ancestors were evacuated, butchered and their children were stolen (Pearson & O'Neill, 2009, p. 9).

Challenging Colonization and Nationalism in Australia

Australians believe that changing the date will be their first step to a long journey towards the countries struggle of becoming a republic (Coleman, 2018, p. 5). There is a great hope that cutting the colonial dependency ties between Australia and Britain for the state to stand on its own needs reconciliation between the first Australian population and the settlers. Failure to work out on the peacemaking between the indigenous Australians who have been occupants of the land for more than six decades and those who arrived a decade ago shows that the country is not prepared to become a republic. This is entirely true because a nation that lacks unity between its indigenous occupants and the modern occupants does not deserve to be a republic. This cannot be achieved when people opt to celebrate a national day at the same date when colonizers set off their journey in the country. When a state becomes a republic, it gains a sense of national prestige. Everybody has to be happy about the full-grown of their country. Australia is likely to achieve this if and only if it changes its national day to a day when everybody will always be happy to celebrate the day.

A country’s day is a day when people of diversified cultures and groups in a country come together for celebrations of the day. The same case should be to Australia. The day should be a day to be marked by massive celebrations. 26th January is not a day that every Australian can be happy to celebrate. This is because surely there is nothing so great about that day especially to the indigenous people of the country. To them, this day marks the day of mourning and remembering their forefathers who die in the hands of the colonizers.  

26th of January can be a sensible day to the Australians if they ever aspire to see their land a colonial outpost for Britain's (Ziersch, et al., 2011, p. 233). But if the country wants to be referred to as a country with varied cultures, as well as making the Indigenous Australians as a part of modern Australia, then there is need for the nation to restructure and see the sense of changing its national day to a more inclusive day that will be fair to everybody in the country without it reminding anyone of any lousy memory. The reason behind that is that everybody deserves to be happy when the country is celebrating its national day.

Impacts of Celebrating a Harmful National Day

The day 26th of January shall surely remain in the memory of many Australians as a day invasion, mourning or survival. It will always be a day when the first colonizers arrived in the land. It will always be a day of seeking justice for as long as justice still exists. The best way to aspire for any single day that Australians shall ever come together to celebrate the day shall always be to change the day. A countries day is not only a day of being off from work but also a day that everybody feels catered for.

Through changing the day, it shall mean that the leaders of the country have aspirations of making the nation great than it is. An excellent treatment for the indigenous people, of the homeless, asylum seekers, unemployed, women, veterans or pensioners will pioneer the country towards the greatness. There is nothing exceptional with coming of the first fleet of the colonizers; this is why there is an entire need of changing the countries day to another date apart from the 26th of January. Generally, during this day, many of the people usually celebrate this day through mass consumption of alcohol. This can be a show that the people already know that they are less important than other people might think. This is why there is need to change the date. A day that marked the onset of colonization should be respected. People should be handled with carefulness. People should not expose themselves to any form of celebration on this day. It is supposed to be a day marked by mourning those people who underwent suffering when the colonialists came to the country.

Australia is a country which is in its critical moments. It is the peak of time when Australians should be seeing inclusive rights and freedoms.  It is the time when everyone is observing the new improvements in the Indigenous rights (Trenerry, 2017). For the nation to achieve this, there is a need for the country to change its day to a day that is wholly inclusive. It should be a day other than 26th January. A day that, everybody feels comfortable to celebrate as well as coordinate with other national activities.  Without changing this date, it means that many people will still be thinking about what happened to their ancestors.

Celebrating the national day on 26th of January is like rubbing salt on the still fresh wounds of the indigenous people of Australia (Wainwright, 2018, p. 5). This is because, since the beginning of the colonial error, the Aboriginal people have lagged behind regarding wealth (Priest, et al., 2011, p. 568). They are still poor. During celebrations of a countries national day, all people ought to be in a celebrating mood. Because 26th January marks the day of the invasion of the Australian land by the colonizers, it will seem unfit to celebrate such essential celebrations on a day that instead of people celebrating, they shall instead be mourning their ancestors who went through tough times in the hands of the colonizers.

Why the Date Should be Changed

A significant number of the indigenous Australians suffer from extreme psychological problems (During, 2018, p. 126). For example, there has been an increase of issues of self-inflicted woods among the people. Cases of suicide among the people have also gone to a higher notch. The Aboriginal people have been able to record most upper circumstances of death in the world (Priest, et al., 2011, p. 548). In recent times, a research finding emerged that nineteen people committed suicide amongst the Australian Aboriginal people within three months. The youngest one was a girl aged ten years.  

Experts have been able to figure out that the rise of suicide cases has been caused by how the Aboriginal people have been discriminated in the country (Ferdinand, et al., 2012, p. 20). Subsequently, from an angle of view, these psychological problems have been inherited by the Aboriginals down the line from their ancestors who were tortured, killed, enslaved, and sexually abused by the colonizers. The celebrations of the National day on the 26th January have been consistently reminding the Aboriginals of the problems that their ancestors went through. There is a need to change this day to the best of this people.  

Among the Aboriginal people, domestic violence is an overwhelming tragedy. This has disturbed the tribe without someone coming to their help (Crowshoe, 2013, p. 26). This has of recent past forced the Aboriginal people walk for many kilometers for them to attract attention of the parliament concerning the tragedy.

Aboriginal girls and women and have been the major victims of the violence. The prime minister called for all people to join hands to help the Aboriginal people overcome this tragedy. Australia is considered to be one of the happiest countries of the world. It is a country that has enjoyed over more than twenty years of vibrant economic growth. The primary cause for all this issues is the collective trauma that the Aboriginal people have received from the past colonial problems. It was during this period that most of the Aboriginal people were driven away from their farms by the Australia’s colonizers. Most of the indigenous children were also forced to get out of school by the colonial government for them to be integrated into slavery. These problems have haunted the community even at the present days. The Aboriginal generation together with its young ones has endured lack of identity life complications. Due to lack of education, has had a rough time while trying to secure for them employment.

Australia's Critical Moment

 The youths have lucratively been lured into alcohol and drug abuse. Stigmatization from the non indigenous individuals has also worsened the already worse complication.  As it is always said, no one needs to remember tormenting life events. The Aboriginal people have no need of remembering all those tormenting life issues. This is why they see it good to change the countries national from 26th January to another day that won’t remind them of all the issues that led them to their present life complications.

Government and nongovernmental programs to save the endangered community have hit bed rock.  A lot of money was channeled to such activities which at long last yielded no profit. On the significant reason for this was that most of the decisions concerning the programs were made by top government officials who never visited the group to involve them in the decision making (Trenerry, 2017, p. 19). That means that the issues that the group was going through were never addressed. If the country had failed to recognize their problems, how does it expect them to celebrate the national day of the nation on a day that reminds them what caused all of the issues that they are going through as a country?. The answer is unquestionable that they cannot be able to celebrate that day, but in return, they shall prefer to mourn and give respect to their ancestors who suffered and died at the hands of the colonizers.  This is a good reason warranting for the change of the Australians national day to another day apart from 26th of January.

Celebrating national day on 26th January a day that marked the onset of the British colonization is a disgrace, insult, and disrespect to the countries old culture. This is why the Australian indigenous people have been boycotting, protesting while trying to forget 26th January a day that their country was taken from them by the colonialists.  Other colonial nations such as Canada, United States of America and New Zealand made efforts to negotiate the treaties on the land with the indigenous people. This was a sign of respect to the countries old culture. On the other hand, Australia's modern people never even bothered to talk to the nations Indigenous people. The countries old tribe was considered to be wildlife. There is need to change the Australian's national day to another day only because it does not include the indigenous people, but it instead excludes them. This is the most excellent show of lack of respect for the country's oldest culture.


Australian national day being on 26th January is very irrelevant to the indigenous people of the high land. On March 24th, 1996, the White Australia Policy which was discriminative against the non-English speaking as well as the non-white immigrants was abolished. This has made Australia become a multicultural success story (Gray, 2010, p. 813). The countries new population now comes from over 200 countries from all over the world. Therefore, fixing 26th January as a day that Australians have to celebrate their national day has no connection to many of the Australians. There is a need for change to a day that is inclusive of all Australians.

Several leaders from the Indigenous leaders have been on the movement demanding a change of the date since 2000. With every passing year, the number of leaders fighting for the transition continues to increase (Vos, 2011, p. 126). They have been fighting for the respect of the indigenous culture. The idea of keeping the Australia national day on 26th January is a sure show on how ignorant the country is. It is a show of how the nation is disrespectful to its culture.  On the contrary, it is very ideal for any country to give respect to its past. Therefore there is need to change its national day to another day apart from 26th January and let that day be used as a reminder of what the colonizers did to Australia's indigenous people.


A national day marks a designated day in which a country celebrates a particular event, for example, independence, culture or even a significant date for a specific respected person of such a nation. In this day, all the people within that particular country have to be in a celebratory mood. In Australia, there is a need to change the date from 26th January to a day that the indigenous people will feel involved. A day that will not remind them the torture their forefathers went through in the hands of the colonizers.


Bongiorno, F., 2018. Why Australia Day survives, despite revealing a nation’s rifts and wounds. The Conversation, p. Online.

Calma, T., 2018. A modern and united Australia must shift its national day from January 26. The Conversation, p. Online.

Coleman, M., 2018. Change The Date. Arena Magazine, Volume 152, pp. 5-6.

Crowshoe, R., 2013. Aboriginal Peoples of Alberta. Creating Understanding, 1(2), pp. 1-52.

Dean, T., 2018. How to have a better conversation about Australia Day. The Conversation, p. Online.

During, M., 2018. Postmodernism or Post-colonialism Today. In: B. G. G. &. T. H. (. Ashcroft, ed. Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: ProQuest Ebook Central, pp. 125-129.

Ferdinand, A., Paradies, Y. & Kelaher, M., 2012. Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities. In: The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Experiences of Racism Survey. Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute, pp. 1- 44.

Gray, J., 2010. Entertainment and media/cultural/communication/etc studies. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 24(6), p. 811–817.

Gunew, S., 1999. Colonial hauntings: the (post)colonialism of multiculturalism in Australia and Canada’ [online]. Australian-Canadian studies: an interdisciplinary social science review, 17(2), pp. 11 - 32.

Jalata, A., 2013. The Impacts of English Colonial Terrorism and Genocide on Indigenous/ Black Australians. Sage Open, 10(1177/2158244013499143), p. 1–12.

Macnamara, J. & Crawford, R., 2013. The construction of Australia Day: A study of public relations as ‘new cultural intermediaries. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 27(2), p. 294–310.

News, R., 2017. Should We Change The Date of Australia Day?. Issue 38, pp. 14 - 16.

Pearson, W. & O'Neill, G., 2009. Australia Day: A Day for All Australians?. In: D. a. M. G. McCrone, ed. National Days: Constructing and Mobilising National Identity. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 79.

Priest, N. et al., 2011. ‘Racism as a determinant of social and emotional wellbeing for. in Medical Journal of Australia, 194(10), pp. 546-550.

Priest, N., Paradies, Y., Stewart, P. & Luke, J., 2011. ‘Racism and health among urban Aboriginal young people. in BMC Public Health, Volume 11, p. 568.

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Vos, T., 2011. Explaining the origins of public relations: Logics of historical explanation. Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(2), p. 119–140.

Wainwright, S., 2018. Australia Day - Change The Date. Green Left Weekly, Issue 1122, p. Online.

Walter, M., 2018. First reconciliation, then a republic – starting with changing the date of Australia Day. The Conversation, p. Online.

Ziersch, A., Gallaher, G., Baum, F. & Bentley, M., 2011. Racism social resources and mental health for Aboriginal people living in Adelaide. in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(3), pp. 231 - 237.

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