Aboriginal man slams the ‘noisy minority’ fighting to change the date of Australia Day – and says the event ‘doesn’t exclude indigenous people’
- Indigenous affairs commentator slams those who want Australia Day changed
- Dr Anthony Dillon believes the January 26 holiday doesn’t exclude indigenous
- Says changing the date won’t make a difference to problems facing Aboriginals
- Cautiously backed MP Zali Steggall’s calls for minute’s silence on Australia Day
A proud Aboriginal man has slammed calls to change the date ofand says January 26 doesn’t exclude indigenous people.
Indigenous affairs commentator and Australian Catholic University researcher Dr Anthony Dillon weighed into the debate this week when he said the date neither includes nor excludes people.
Dr Dillon has since publicly lashed the ‘noisy minority’ who want the date changed.
January 26 marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet into Port Jackson in 1788.
An indigenous affairs commentators has describes those who want to change the date of Australia day as a ‘noisy minority’ Pictured are women celebrating Australia Day in Sydney
‘For most of them it’s a celebration… but you’ve got this minority who are trying to make out that the white man is yet again guilty and that it’s a terrible day for Aboriginal people,’ Dr Dillion told Sydney radio stationon Wednesday.
‘It does nothing for reconciliation, it does nothing for racial relations. It’s ridiculous.’
He doesn’t believe changing the date would change the situation.
‘How would it?’ he asked.
‘The problems affecting Aboriginal people aren’t going to be fixed by changing the date.’
He says it isn’t the date that includes or excludes but individuals themselves.
‘We are told that celebrating Australia Day on 26 January is not inclusive. Well actually, dates neither include nor exclude people. Individuals do that themselves. If you want to exclude yourself from celebrating Australia Day, go for it,’ Dr Dillon tweeted earlier in the week.
Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have called for an end to the celebration of Australia Day on January 26. Pictured is an Invasion Day rally on Australia Day in Brisbane
Dr Dillon’s comments come a day after independent federal Warringah MP and former Winter Olympic medallist Zali Steggall wrote to mayors in her electorate on Sydney’s northern beaches, calling for a minute silence to be observed on Australia Day.
‘January 26 provokes a range of emotions for many within our community,’ Ms Steggall said.
‘It is only right that we acknowledge all that this day represents and build remembrance into our ceremonies to recognise the price that has been paid by First Australians.’
Indigenous affairs commentator Dr Anthony Dillon (pictured) says changing the date doesn’t fix the problems Aboriginal Australians face
The proud indigenous man tweeted this week that dates neither include or exclude
Dr Dillon cautiously backed Ms Steggall’s calls for a minute’s silence.
‘I don’t oppose it outright but I think if we’re going to have a minute’s silence of what happened when the British arrived, then we should have an hour’s shouting of the problems affecting Aboriginal people today of poverty in the communities, violence, that sort of thing,’ Dr Dillion told 2GB.
He plans to celebrate next Tuesday’s public holiday with friends.
‘It will be a happy day for me but I guess ultimately, I will reflect on what a great country we live in,’ he said.
Dr Anthony Dillon says many indigenous Australians celebrate January 26 like everyone else. Pictured are Australian Open tennis fans on Australia Day in Melbourne last year
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