Thursday, 9 February 2017
That the Senate—
(ii) that 26 January is a day of mourning for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as it represents the beginning of colonisation, and
(iii) the call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, local governments and community support to change the date; and
(b) calls on federal, state and territory governments to change the date of Australia Day so that all Australians can participate in celebrating this national day.
It is a bit longer than the last short statement, but it is still short. The opposition opposes this motion, and we proudly celebrate our national day. Australia Day should be a day of national celebration and national pride on which we can celebrate all the good things that it means to be Australian and the great fortune we have to live in this country.
This of course does not mean forgetting our scars, and the opposition understands that for many First Australians this date still carries much sadness, following too many years of injuries and indignities great and small. The opposition believes that we as a nation must honour the keepers of the world's oldest living culture, the caretakers of this ancient continent. We must pledge ourselves to working together for a more equal future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.