Australia Day on January 26 marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the “First Fleet” to Sydney Cove, carrying mainly convicts and troops from Britain. For many indigenous Australians, who trace their lineage on the continent back 60,000 years, it is “Invasion Day”, the start of Britain’s colonization of aboriginal lands and their brutal subjugation – akin to “Columbus Day” that is celebrated in the USA.
The ruling elite that emerged in Australia made a determination of all those considered acceptable to constitute a nation of themselves based on ethnic, religious, political, physical and intellectual criteria. All outside the criteria were excluded and even exterminated. In fact, this approach became the policy of Nazi Germany. Today this approach requires that all those who do not swear allegiance to the “values” declared Australian, American, Canadian, British, civilized, etc., are qualified for civil death.
Due to colonialism, Australia’s 700,000 or so indigenous people track near the bottom of its 25 million citizens in almost every economic and social indicator. While opinion polls suggest over half the country supports changing Australia Day, the conservative government is still trying to legally entrench it as a national holiday.