Recently I went on a short day trip, with some girls, to the country area’s near my city to enjoy a day that is currently a controversial subject in Australia, and that is our country’s national day, “Australia Day”. It has been a time celebrated for over 100 years, to celebrate the day Australia became an official nation, under the British Monarchy, rather than an extension of Britain itself. Australia, originally a British Colony, was a land, people were banished to as prisoners, it was a place that people had no desire to go to. It was also a land, like many, that already had people living in it. The Aboriginals, the original land owners, were and are the most peaceful, kind people I know (reality being there is hate, abuse and violence in all cultures), however, their oppression lives on today through their people, having to acknowledge a day that they are reminded of forever, of their ancestors being imprisoned, and tortured, and bred to become Caucasian. You may be surprised to know that there are still people alive today that had to live through these settlement days of race discrimination.
Australia as a whole however, I believe it to be quite peaceful now, even though we still have our issues. I was born and raised here, and I try hard not to take for granted the freedoms that I have in this country. As a child, my mixed skin colour, was often called “black”, as myself and only 1 other person in the school at the time had the same skin colour as me, my Father being a Dark-Skinned Maori and my Mother being a Pale-Freckled Skin Maori, however I would not classify my skin colour as “Black” or “Brown” probably similar to Mediterranean for perspective. There were others who had darkish skin also, except they had a face similar to that of a European Structure, they didn’t have big lips, and round noses. Children didn’t know any better back then, maybe they do now. Although Racism isn’t something that is of a major issue to us, we are a bit more relaxed in our approach to different nationalities, and tend to say it like it appears. For example, people are unafraid of saying “the Asian girl” or “the African boy”. However we do not use the colour of someone’s skin against them, neither do we use their race or appearance, and those things people seemed insecure in as children, now they can openly share it. We do have our pockets of racism around the country, and in some areas more than others it is bad, especially the tourism capitals like Sydney and the state of Victoria.
In saying all of this, their is one big racism problem we have, which we are trying our hardest to overcome, and that is that many people want the Aboriginal People to become conformed to a society, that they had no choice in being apart of. I believe balance to be the biggest issue here, and I would love it if we lived in a world where Captain Jean Luc-Picard were pleasantly travelling around and inviting and studying other cultures and reaching out a hand that says “Let’s work together”, however the reality is, that we don’t.
I am not trying to be a voice for anybody of any race or skin colour, I simply wanted to write a blog about my day trip on Australia Day. But I also think it is important not to allow ourselves to be ignorant of the reality of Australia Day, we acknowledge it, we appreciate our lives, living in this beautiful country, and we appreciate the original land owners, we celebrate the freedom we have, and we hope to learn more about this land we call home, and the people living in this land, of all races, our now-multicultural land. I think it is also important to recognise the men and woman before us that decided to make a change earlier on in regards to racism, we are kind of lucky I guess, that it was prisoners that arrived here, the ones that were being oppressed also, for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their starving families. The families that decided to adhere to government rules, but also speak and act out against discrimination of cultural differences. Thank you to those people who opened the door of acceptance.
This blog post is not intended to push any political agenda, please understand these are all personal opinions.