Arts&Culture

Australia Day poll shocking — SOAP BOX

Australia Day poll shocking — SOAP BOX

"Certainly I've had individuals who have that view talk to me, I've had them text me, even as late as yesterday", he told ABC TV.

For many Aboriginal Australians, January 26 is a date to be mourned, not celebrated, as it signifies the beginning of a violent invasion that continues to this day.

I DON'T think I'd be speaking for myself if I said waking up this morning and finding out the majority of Australians don't know why Australia Day is held on January 26 was a shock.

However, only 37 per cent agreed that the current date of Australia Day was offensive to indigenous Australians, while 46 per cent disagreed.

The survey suggests 84 per cent of Australians believe it's important to celebrate the nation with a national day of commemoration and celebration, but just 56 per cent of people don't particularly mind which day the festivities are held.

Forty-nine percent, meanwhile, agreed the celebration should not be on a day that's offensive to Indigenous Australians. "When asked to choose which date Australia Day should be celebrated on, less than a quarter (23 per cent) chose the current date from a range of options", she said.

But with 10% of respondents supporting "Australia becoming a republic" perhaps it's a matter of waiting. January 26 is not that day.

A handful of councils across Australia have indicated their support for changing the date, including Melbourne councils Yarra and Darebin, which were sensationally stripped of their ability to hold citizenship ceremonies in mid-2017 as a result.

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Bill Shorten said at a press conference on Thursday that he did not support moves to change the date.

The survey of 1,417 Australians last December by the left-leaning Australia Institute reveals shocking levels of ignorance about the country's history and the inspiration behind the choice for the country's national day.

Former Home and Away actress Isabelle Lucas has joined the Greens' push, appearing in a video in which she says, "Now's the time to change the date of Australia Day".

"I think it is inevitable that we will become a republic", Wyatt said.

Bennett added that the confusion around the date and the historical events that happened should encourage more Australians to learn about the history of the country.

It also found a broad lack of knowledge about Australia Day, with 77% wrongly saying the day had always been celebrated on January 26 (this has only been the case since 1994) and only 38% correctly identifying that January 26 marked the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove.

Triple J's Hottest 100 is arguably the best part of the day and if a date change is good enough for them, it's good enough for me.


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