Australia Day flags
Australia Day flags Renee McKeown

As an immigrant I ask: Where's the joy for Australia Day?

YOUR SAY:  I AGREE with Barnaby Joyce that Australia Day is the day that the First Fleet entered Sydney Cove this year 230 years ago, on January 26, 1788 and that Australia was therefore founded on that day.

I, as a 26-year-old Dutch immigrant with a young family, arrived on Australia Day in 1972 and will always remember that memorable day as such.

I arrived at Geelong's Norlane flea-ridden, ex-army barracks and observed the dancing in the streets and parks by people from many different cultures including several hundred Aborigines.

Yes they mixed and danced with all the other people and shared each other's food. I was told by an immigration officer taking us around that this was a typical Australia Day celebration.

What has gone wrong since those years?

Keep Australia Day and nominate a special indigenous people day if they want to remember all the bad things done to them since Cook's arrival.

Maybe they should have a second indigenous people day on which they remember the benefits of "white people" settlement?

HERMAN ODIJK, Rangeville



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