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Calls for new national day of recognition shows depth of ignorance in our Government: Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 27 Sep 2018

Scott Morrisons dismissal of First Nations’ calls to celebrate our country on a date other than January 26 demonstrates the disconnect with, and contempt held by our Government for First Nations communities, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.  

“The fact that our Prime Minister Scott Morrison has labelled First Nations calls for a date of celebration other than January 26 as “indulgent self-loathing” is simply disgusting, and demonstrates this Government’s ignorance of what this date really means to First Nations peoples,” Senator Siewert said.

“Moreover, calling for another day of celebration for First Nations peoples, while continuing to celebrate Australia Day on January 26,  furthers isolates our First Nations communities from any national celebrations.

“January 26 is a day that caused so much hurt and suffering to Aboriginal people, and Scott Morrison would do well to remember that holding celebrations on a day of mourning does not unite us or bring us together.

“Rather than clinging on to the notions of ‘tradition’ we need to work towards being a more inclusive society where everyone can celebrate this wonderful country. There are 364 other days in the year for us to hold an inclusive celebration of what it means to be Australian, and the date of Australia Day has been held on many different dates over the years.

“I urge the Prime Minister to listen to First Nation communities, and hold a national consultation to move Australia Day to a date other than January 26."

Media Inquiries: Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180

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