Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has urged the City of Cockburn to include important information about the true history of January 26 when consulting with the community about changing the date of Australia Day celebrations.
“Although the City of Cockburn has consulted with local Aboriginal peoples about the future of Australia Day celebrations who support changing the date, it was decided last night that more broader consultation should occur.
“When consulting, I urge the City of Cockburn to ensure that there is a process of truth-telling about why January 26 is such a historically painful day for our First Peoples. We need to exercise genuine truth-telling.
“We know that when the history is understood by members of the community, many people are more likely to agree that it makes sense to change the date so that people are not grieving on a day of celebration.
“Once it is understood why our First Peoples find it so painful, Australians show compassion and care and are more likely to agree on a more unifying date.
“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”.