Musings on Australia Day…

January 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm (With thanks) (, )

I’ve always felt conflicted about today, “Australia Day”. I am proud to be Australian, and I love this country deeply, knowing I am of it, and glad of that. I feel connected to the land, having grown up on it, and proud of the wonderful achievements of its people. But January 26 represents so much pain and loss and injustice, more than two hundred years of persecution. To many people it is Invasion Day, or Survival Day. And while I love this country and honour the land every day of the year, it is on this day that I struggle most.

So today I hope and wish and pray that this is the year we start to redress the balance, that the gap closes, that social injustice is addressed, that the apology becomes a foundation for real change and not just a nice memory, that our honouring of the land and its people extends to real, practical transformation…

“Today we stand in footsteps millennia old.
May we acknowledge the traditional owners
whose cultures and customs have nurtured,
and continue to nurture, this land,
since men and women awoke from the great dream.
We honour the presence of these ancestors
who reside in the imagination of this land
and whose irrepressible spirituality
flows through all creation.”

Acknowledgement of Country by Jonathan Hill, an Aboriginal poet living in NSW.


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