An Alternate Australia?

It was Australia day, yesterday.  Now, that happens to be celebrated on the same day of the year as the First Fleet landed the first British convict settlers at Sydney Cove, marking the start of the nation that is modern Australia. The continent was there before that, and will be long after the even memory of humans have vanished. There were people here before that, descendants of long, long ago settlers – because ALL humans are settlers and colonists or descendants of the same.  There were many different nations and clans, and strictly demarcated territories and many different languages.  Australia was, if anything, more complicated than Europe, and the people who lived on the continent were all living on one continent but were no more the same nation than Estonians are quite the same as Spaniards – and the distances between some groups was far larger and less traveled than those in Europe. Rousseau’s imaginary noble savage remained illusionary. As with all pre-metal cultures everywhere, it is unlikely in the extreme that lifespans were anything but short, with death –particularly in childbirth and among children, taking a bitter toll.  Life was harder for them and indeed those convicts than any modern human in Australia experiences.

I suspect those convicts didn’t do a lot of celebrating – except maybe to get off that ship.  It was a harsh and alien place relative to what they were familiar with.  However, it certainly became a day huge celebration, of pride, of joy, to many millions of people.  You see, we’re a nation of immigrants, colonists if you like – many of whom came to Australia from pretty dire circumstances.  And they range of course from the poor of Italy to escapees from behind the Iron Curtain, from Vietnam or Africa — it became the day on which, traditionally, they had their citizenship ceremony and became full citizens of our great nation, with all the rights and responsibilities of the native born.  I am one of them, and it is a day that will always have a personal and deep resonance for me. I’d found sanctuary for me and mine, and I cherish and love it for that great gift. I try very hard to become what has been conferred on me. My ancestors didn’t pay blood and treasure to make this nation, prosperous, free, tolerant and generous, giving me and mine shelter, security and a future. There is a debt of gratitude owing for that I can never pay back, and Australia Day is very symbolic of that, to me, and indeed to millions of Australians like me, who now call this home.

When we arrived on the island – legal migrants, but needing to fulfill our residency time (four years) and pass the citizenship exam – we’d been here just on two weeks before Australia Day. As the people at church had told us we should go, and that we’d be very welcome, we went to the island Australia Day party up at Killiekrankie beach… not knowing what to expect or how welcome we’d actually be.

Well, very welcome.

It was a great day for three nervous ‘New Australians’. We met people from all over the world – the UK to Philippines, as well as people whose families had been here for as long as the islands have been settled and continuously populated (not all that long ago, as Tobias Furneaux first charted the island in 1773, and they had no residents – a situation that had been true for thousands of years. They were once part of a land-bridge to Tasmania, back when sea levels were at least 50 meters lower… and the Great Barrier Reef was existent… but not where it is now.)

I picture it still, my son playing beach cricket with the other youngsters, us enjoying the free barbecue put on for the celebration. We were essentially broke from the huge cost of legal migration, poor as church-mice, and wondering if this very alien place in which we really knew no-one could actually become home. The meat was very much appreciated, but the friendly welcome far more so.  It was basically the first time I actually stopped wondering if I had made a terrible mistake.  But everyone seemed to get on, all the kids played together, and we felt not so much outsiders as a part of the celebration. It remains as clear as a snapshot in my memory, and I treasure it. It’s an important day to me, and always will be.

Of course various activists saw this day as opportunity, and now we have some calling it ‘Invasion Day’ for the fact that the First Fleet brought settlers to Aboriginal land.  They offered no alternative to celebrate unity or welcome or achievement. Just their grievance, for which they want attention. Well, you can see that as you like, but the end result has been… I don’t think quite what they wanted, or anyone else does. Instead of binding a nation, or garnering support among any but those who supported them anyway, it’s just ended up being divisive, and resulted in celebration to which anyone was welcome being either muted, or cancelled… or defiant.

All of this is hard on the millions of New Australians like me, to whom this was an important day for us becoming citizens. We didn’t choose to settle Australia originally, even if we became part of her history and baggage, as well as her benefits when we did.

As a writer of Alternate History (which takes a fair amount of historical research, as well as following logical progression…) I have to point out that if you decided to start your alternate history with a storm that sank that First Fleet, Australia might well have ended up with… exactly the same British Colonists in another fleet, or as the French and Dutch were both exploring the area — either of the above — or more than one European power dividing the continent.  It’s massively unlikely that none of them would have settled and conquered.  I suggest those who think this might have been better study the colonial history of these nations.

If you had to choose a different historical split (which would have even less to do with Australia Day) and somehow exclude those European Nations and Empires from the Southern Pacific…  You’d have had Spain. Was that better for the colonized? Getting Spain out of your timeline would be difficult, but let’s assume you did.  You’d then have the reality of non-European states all actively expanding and colonizing (because that’s what humans do) at that time who were… sweetness and light, and never conquered anywhere, and merely came and gave benefits generously to all and sundry and went away… yeah. And the moon is made of green cheese and Epstein killed himself. I suggest looking up Chatham Islands for a more realistic picture of historical non-European colonization

But given the myriad possible universes I suppose someone could come up with an alternative where the various nations living in Australia before 1788 somehow repelled the various inevitable invasions. Of course those successful in fighting off these invaders remained peaceful ‘noble savages’ and never invaded their neighbors lands when their populations grew.  Australia as a nation would not exist, any more than Europe is a nation. And I wonder if any of those nations on the continent would have welcomed migrants, or provided comfort, security, healthcare or social welfare?

Maybe someone will write it someday. Maybe some people want to read it. It would be a challenge to do well and make appeal to broad audience, but who knows? Maybe it could be done.

But while alternate history remains fascinating, I suppose the lesson in this for us as writers is that which bound us together made us stronger and more able to provide support for the outliers and newcomers. The activists of the writing world seizing grievances as an opportunity to exclude and divide – a thing that they have successfully foisted on Trad publishing – has not strengthened that (it’s weaker and poorer than it used to be, with declining market share), and, as a result, other than in the very short term not going to benefit them.

Let’s keep Indy a place where opportunity at least is equal.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

 

 

61 comments

  1. Dave you should have come illegally. The racist Australian government would have spent about 70 thousand per year of taxpayers money on you without permission and you wouldn’t have had to fit in. *sarc for the challenged* Some mates and I set up on a floating blow-up pontoon with a floating esky, best idea ever btw and took turns riding on a jetski. Nate a true legend of a bloke layed off the grog for the day so we and the kids could have a responsible driver. Several guests were from other countries and everyone got along well. Helps if the grevence mongers and arseholes are ignored. Other than the media and academia everyone in normy land just laughs and tells them to piss off. Both of them are losing credibility at an ever increasing rate anyway.

  2. I am one of them, and it is a day that will always have a personal and deep resonance for me. I’d found sanctuary for me and mine, and I cherish and love it for that great gift. I try very hard to become what has been conferred on me. My ancestors didn’t pay blood and treasure to make this nation, prosperous, free, tolerant and generous, giving me and mine shelter, security and a future. There is a debt of gratitude owing for that I can never pay back, and Australia Day is very symbolic of that, to me, and indeed to millions of Australians like me, who now call this home.

    Well said, Dave.

  3. > They offered no alternative to celebrate unity or welcome or achievement.

    “Divide and conquer…”

  4. Hmm. 1600 or so was the battle of Sekigahara. The battle which ended Japan’s last warring states period, and which saw the isolationist Tokugawa shogunate cemented in power. There is an AU or two in Japan becoming a colonial power instead.

    Mid 1600s China was having a dynastic change over, so that is also a possible alternate.

    The Spainards had a lot of effective qualities as colonial rulers, which is why Americans should learn from them in the matter of managing client states to the south. 🙂

    1. Oy.
      Can you imagine the snowflakes encountering Japanese and Chinese colonization?
      The bloody Spanish look egalitarian, merciful, and generous in comparison.

      1. That just means we are racist for not using those techniques.

        It would be interesting to see if the modern Japanese culture has changed enough to be a tier or two nicer in managing colonial possessions.

        Decent chance we will find out a lot more about PRC colonial rule in the future. Unless the regime’s fragility takes it out first.

        1. Re: Japan; it would depend on who’s running the colonizing government if we’re going the ‘modern day AU’ route. They play with this in some of the isekai settings; Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There, while being militaristic in approach, I found actually more benevolent than Outbreak Company despite the latter’s approach of conquest via commercialism (because the higher ups running the show fully intended to subjugate the other world’s society and were not happy with the MC later on.) Gate has Japan exploring the Special Area for things like oil, which the other world people have no use for, being a pre-oil society. Though, the guy they had do the negotiations… well.)

    2. I think that the Spanish were terrible at being colonial rulers. Worse than terrible.

      But I suppose it depends on what is being measured. Rotating governors home again kept “management” from going native.

      1. Edit: “The Spanish were terrible.”
        FIFY. 😉

        (But still infinitely preferable to the Aztecs or Inca. And magnitudes better than the Japanese and Chinese.)

        1. Re: Inca, Spanish, and Japanese. I had/have a backburnered project that is a vaguely historic AU, which had an area colonized by the Spanish, Japanese, Americans, and maybe the Inca. Not sure on the last because not sure about the extent of the Inca empire. Of course, I’m cheating to justify a Japanese possession in South America taken over by the US after WWII, so I could also cheat on the Inca.

          In all seriousness, there is a solid argument that the right way to empire is not to. Since slavery is inferior to a free market running on top of a free society with a consensual representative government, you don’t want to incorporate populations that can’t make the latter work into your polity. (What do you do when you don’t have that choice, or cannot maintain a live and let live peace with those populations? I don’t seem to have any nice suggestions.)

          “Maybe we should practice Spanish imperialism” was trolling, and the general strategy that ‘do what the x did’ means that when someone cries racist, one can call them racist against x culture. But, going from first principles, my first preference would be peace, and my second preference does not resemble the practices of any historic or prehistoric empire. Because the people implementing historic and prehistoric empires were sane in the context of their core culture in ways that I am not.

        2. Luke ‘(But still infinitely preferable to the Aztecs or Inca. And magnitudes better than the Japanese and Chinese.)’ Or a bunch of others: who were operating under their ‘mores’ (morals of the time and culture) and were mostly proud of what they did. It’s been a thesis of many of my books that ‘conquest’ succeeded (or succeeded most) when the ordinary Joes saw the conquerors as a better alternative.

          1. Um… The Japanese circa 1600 did do colonization.

            They took over the Kingdom of Ryukyu/Liuqiu in 1624, including Okinawa and many other islands. Then they kept it as a vassal state until 1872, when they just declared it a Japanese domain instead of an independent state. Okinawa still ain’t happy about it.

            Japan also did colonization of Korea, after assassinating their last empress.

            1. Yeah, but they didn’t build the logistics for colonies in Australia. I’m not convinced they could have. They definitely also had activities that could be considered colonial and imperial versus the Ainu. Then there is the digging past the historical record into speculation stuff with the very early polities.

              China likewise. There is extensive historical record of imperial growth, plus the mythology. But there were also periods of being intensively inward focused, and not practicing empire at anywhere near the theoretical potential.

              The imperialism of post Bakufu Japan argues that they had some capacity for imperial power projection which the Tokugawa did not opt to take advantage of.

              1. Just what you want; you have a land full of squabbling daimyo, and you want to put some of them in faraway lands where they can plot against you with impunity…

                Louis kept his enemies at Versaille for good reason, you know.

                You have to have some minimum amount of internal stability before you go off colonizing, otherwise you’re just making more problems.

                1. That’s why you posit some absurd counter-factual with a cinematic Nobunaga Oda winning instead of Tokugawa.

          2. The Spanish didn’t do badly whenever they had clear goals and the ability to point their flintlocks in the right direction. But they were just coming off a very weird period of history, and they had a bunch of guys who were either trained to fight Muslims, or trained to backstab the guys who came to fight Muslims and steal their booty.

            So yeah. Saints. Soldiers. Scientists. Poets. Lawyers. And backstabbing leeches who got insulted easily and killed you for it.

  5. Australia is one of the few nations in the world where you can move to and become that nationality. Move to Australia and you can become Australian. To the United States and you can become American, to Canada and become Canadian.

    You cannot move to Japan or China and “become” Japanese, nor Chinese, nor can your children or grandchildren. The same in Germany or France.

    Greeks historically excluded anyone born outside the polis (city) from citizenship, even children of citizens born in colonies to which the parents had moved at the sponsorship of their city. Rome, on the other hand? Anyone could become Roman. Guess which civilization prospered better?

    I would have been happier had you moved to the US and become American (or even Texan), because we would be more likely to meet. But that is a selfish desire on my part. You chose wisely by becoming Australian.

  6. In the case of the shame mongers, it’s all about lazy people trying to find a way to flaunt their morality without actually doing anything really moral.

      1. Some of these people are the virtue signaling equivalent of a ‘topper’. Whatever the subject, they have to demonstrate that they are more ‘caring’ and ‘compassionate’ in a leftist direction. They’re the ones who can always find the Problematic in any blessing.

        But, I’ve noticed you seldom see those people actively engaged in helping other people, or cleaning up, or getting their hands dirty. Inevitably, they want someone else to take money from other people and pay different people to take care of the problems that people have. Because they care so hard.

  7. “I suggest looking up Chatham Islands for a more realistic picture of historical non-European colonization”

    This would be an interesting alternative history. Imagine that the Europeans had discovered New Zealand long before they discovered Australia. As with our timeline, the Maori would end up with muskets and longer lasting potatoes (which enable longer sea voyages). Then, instead of / in addition to hearing about the Chatam Islands and going to conquer the Moriori, eventually they would have heard about Australia.

    1. Would the post-musket Maori lifestyle be viable in the coastal areas of Australia? By the time they had muskets, they also had western crops and livestock.

    2. The pacifist Moriori were easy prey. Some aborigines may have been pacifistic, but most of them were not. Would the Maori be able to conquer enough of a bridge-head in a sufficiently fertile part to survive?

    1. I suppose the logical thing would be to see how both did against the same enemy. The Maori fought each other in many wars in what what was still their expansionist settlement phase – which made for a very successful militarized warrior culture. They had adapted in recent times to a new country and new foods. They fought – and adopted tactics and technology so successfully against the British that it was a close run thing. The Australian Aboriginals undoubtably fought each other, but were long past the rapid expansionary settlement phase. They seem to have been less successful at coping with incorporating tactics or technology. So: I would suspect, yes, the Maori given a little luck could have formed various beach-heads. Islands like ours for example.

      1. I’d love to read that story. It would a rare non-European centered alternative history, and yet cause heart attacks among the diversity crowd.

      1. The only problem that I have with your link is that I can’t purchase the book until next week. 😉

        1. But on the bright side, free preview! ~:D

          I just posted it at 3pm, I guess it takes them some time to get all the ducks in a row.

          I’m formatting the paper version now, and getting the paperback cover sorted. It isn’t as difficult as I’d feared (he said knocking on wood) but there are an awful lot of places for things to go horribly wrong.

          Such as the link being huge. 0.o D’oh.

          1. Yeah, the ducks can be fun.

            For instance, they say it takes days to hook up the pd and the e editions. In my experience, that means, wait out the days, and poke.

            1. Same here. Added it to my shopping list so I don’t forget by the time I do have money. (“The Shadow of a Dead God” and “Phoenix Dreams” are selling reasonably well, but I won’t see that money until March, and it’s still uncertain what’s happening with the insurance wrt the storm damage repairs).

        2. Amazon TELLS you that – but as usual, they underpromise and overdeliver. Not that I complain! It’s completely up now.

          Question – trying to maximize returns here. As I understand it, if you borrow through KU (and read), then buy it – the writer gets paid both ways?

          Also – I don’t see that MGC is an associate, so I’ll buy it over on ATH. Probably Wednesday or Thursday (unless told that it doesn’t actually add a few pennies to Phantom’s bank account).

          1. At The Time I Wrote That, the book wasn’t available in KU.

            It currently is and I took advantage of KU.

            Likely won’t read it until tomorrow as I need to rest now as I’ll have a busy day tomorrow.

    1. Congratulations. I’m still in the Hamlet “will I, won’t I” phase with my book, so I both admire and am horribly jealous of those who pull the trigger and actually put it up for sale.

      You are now officially a real writer, Phantom!

            1. The storytelling is epic? Awesome!

              I do admit the harem anime part, but not the quasi-incest part. They’re robots, remember. They don’t have siblings or parents.

              Guess I’ll have to make a bit more of a point about that in the next one. Important safety tip. ~:D

              1. Robots yeah, but people. And [Name] is their dad. You had a really cool theme going there when [Name] had to decide whether to build a machine or make a child, and – understandably – chickened out. And then the actual robots arrived and it was clear [Name] had an “oopsie”. I admit, I laughed.

                What do you call it when a grown up person creates a brand new young person to love? The “youngness” of the characterization, There’s some interesting stuff (good and bad) going on there with the two sets of villains, and bodily integrity, and freedom but it’s tough avoiding spoilers as it is so I’ll wait. Some chewy goodness there, definitely.

                I’ll also admit to a bias from fen culture: the only people I ever met who claimed that the sole reason any person was monagamous, or chaste was some form of corrosive mental trauma were up to no good in a big way. Folks who’ve gone that route in the wider world (like Rousseau) have also been uniformly bad eggs. Left a bad taste in the mental mouth. I don’t know if working out robot people metaphysics is your cuppa but you could take a look at Wright’s The Golden Age: written when an atheist and a libertine viz sex.

                Another interesting thing was having [Other Name] standing in for foot-bones-through-the-ballet-flats girl’s mom or husband, if you get my drift. There’s a moral dilemma for you. Only [Name] had any right to forgive you-know-who. [Other name] only sorta did, and then only on other folk’s behalf. And, as [Name] pointed out, he benefited enormously from the original harm.

                Something for book 2, perhaps.

                1. About that. One of my pet hates in post-2005 SFF at the movies and in paperback is that the AIs are inevitably either victims or they’re evil.

                  To my mind, with these robots you’ve got something ridiculously more powerful than a human. Its SO much bigger, faster, stronger. But it had nothing to -do-. Which is boring.

                  It has zero biological imperatives. Because it is a machine, right? It doesn’t have a gender, or a culture, or any of the other social attributes that humans do. Almost everything we humans do is to satisfy biological and cultural/social imperatives, but the machines don’t have those drives and restrictions.

                  The only real restriction they have is boredom. A self-aware machine that runs its brain at the ragged edge of physical possibility, it is going to get bored very fast. Like, in seconds. Put a bunch of them on the same network, maybe they last a couple of minutes before the boredom sets in.

                  But the humans are self-aware too. That’s the one thing we’ve got going for us that the robots are interested in. And when you think about it, humans are the only game in town. There’s nobody else around. Its just us.

                  I guess my problem as an author is, if I have to explain all this to a reader who’s already read the book, I need to do my job better. This is very valuable feedback.

                  Book 2 is in final edit, and it does deal with some of these ideas in between the smooching and the blowing shit up. Plus a couple of other ideas that didn’t come up in book one.

                  Like, how do you fight a war against a murderous tyrant using killer robots that won’t kill people? ~:D

                  Regarding John C. Wright’s Golden Age, that’s a great series. Some of his best work, IMHO. I didn’t agree with all his ideas (obviously) but it didn’t matter because the story was excellent. Highly recommended.

                  1. “It doesn’t have a gender, or a culture, or any of the other social attributes that humans do. Almost everything we humans do is to satisfy biological and cultural/social imperatives, but the machines don’t have those drives and restrictions.”

                    Really? Are you sure? Because there have been a number of cases where AI prototypes, depending on the assumptions of the people who programmed their base logic and/or selected the base data sets they “learned” from, began to show distinct social and cultural biases. I’m not sure we can build a machine with superiority to th creators in that or several other areas.

                    BTW, boredom is also a human social attribute.

                    1. The “AI” we have these days is machine learning. This is what ants do. The program has an algorithm and a goal, it iterates the algo on its data set until it reaches the goal state. You can make small examples of these out of gears and switches. They’re essentially mechanical for all that they run on electronics.

                      I’ve posited a self-awareness that lives inside advanced artificial hardware. A thing/person which is not mechanical and in principle can’t be made out of gears and switches. But its -body- is mechanical-ish, so it doesn’t partake of our 4 billion years of squishy carbon-based evolution.

                      Massive mental capacity allows them to emulate Human to a seamless degree, so they can hang out with us. But its an emulation. They’re only pretending.

                      I definitely think they’d A) turn out nothing like us and B) be hilarious fun to hang out with. Of course I could be wrong, and there’s lots of stories that come to a different conclusion.

                      Regarding boredom: Your self-driving car develops sentience, and decides to emulate a red Ferrari because you, the human, really want a Ferrari. Is the now sentient car going to be content to sit in the garage, or does it want to go for a drive?

                      IMHO its going to drag you out of the house and go street racing every chance it gets. At least I hope it would. A car that pouts in the garage would be pretty crappy. ~:D

                  2. Economics rule. As Freefall sagely observed, robots are not going to be built any stronger than they absolutely need to be.

      1. Enjoying it. A very fun book. Lots of local color, lots of interesting detail.

        But… yeah, outside of harem romance land, non-territorial non-hierarchical women are not actually women. I will spot you any robots or aliens, but any human female spouting that line is lying.

        As a literary trope in romances written for guys… sure, okay. Just like all the dreamlike wish-fulfillment tropes in harem romances written for women. But in real life, that is why there were all those mysterious murders or unfortunate faux pas that ended in suicide, and why there were feuds that lasted hundreds of years. Because women want their own man as much as they like their own house and their own way, and they do not willingly share; and if they have to share, everyone has to suffer.

        Thus endeth the sermon.

      2. I did the cover. Photoshop! It was hard, and it took a while, but it worked.

        For those on a budget I suggest GIMP. It could have done the same job, or close to it.

    2. Phantom – rules of the blog. You need to ask permission before you post links. We had serious abuse from various sealions, so that’s the rule for everyone. Next time, ask first.

      1. Dave, my apologies. I had no intention of the link blowing up to that size, please take it down if its a problem. Next time I’ll definitely ask first.

  8. In actuality the first fleet arrived between the 17th and 20th of Jan. The26th was chosen because in 1949 thats when Australia became a truly independent nation. The following is a bit long but covers it all

    Captain Cook did not arrive in Australia on the 26th of January.

    The Landing of Captain Cook in Sydney happened on the 28th of April 1770 – not on the 26th of January 1770. The First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay on the 18th of January. The 26th was chosen as Australia Day for a different reason; however, Captain Cook’s landing was included in Australia Day celebrations as a reminder of a significant historical event.

    Since the extravagant bicentenary celebrations of 1988, when Sydney-siders decided Captain Cook’s landing should become the focus of the Australia Day commemoration, the importance of this date for all Australians has begun to fade.

    Now, a generation later, it’s all but lost.

    This is because our politicians and educators have not been doing a good job promoting the day. Our politicians have not been advertising the real reason for Australia Day, and our educators have not been teaching our children the importance of the 26th of January to all Australians.

    The media, as usual, is happy to twist the truth for the sake of controversy.

    In recent years, the media has helped fan the flames of discontent among the Aboriginal community. Many are now so offended by what they see as a celebration of the beginning of the darkest days of Aboriginal history, they want the date changed.

    Various local Councils are seeking to remove themselves from Australia Day celebrations, even refusing to participate in citizenship ceremonies, and calls are going out to have Australia Day on a different day.

    The big question is, why has the Government allowed this misconception to continue?

    Captain Cook didn’t land on the 26th of January. So changing the date of any celebration of Captain Cook’s landing would not have any impact on Australia Day, but maybe it would clear the way for the truth about Australia Day.

    The reality is, the Aborigines in this country suffered terribly under the hands of British colonialism. This is as much Australia’s history as the landing of the first fleet, and both should be remembered, equally. Both should be taught, side by side, in our schools.

    Australians of today abhor what was done under British governance to the Aborigines. We abhor what was done under British governance to the Irish and many other cultures around the world. So, after the horrors of WWII we decided to fix it.

    We became our own people.

    On the 26th of January 1949, the Australian nationality came into existence when the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 was enacted. That was the day we were first called Australians and allowed to travel with Passports as Australians.

    Under the Nationality Act 1920 (Cth), all Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders born after January 1, 1921 gained the status of British subjects. In 1949, therefore, they automatically became Australian citizens under the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948.

    Before that special date, all people living in Australia, including Aborigines born after 1921, were called ‘British Subjects’ and forced to travel on British Passports and fight in British wars.

    We all became Australians on the same day!

    This is why we celebrate Australia Day on the 26th of January!

    This was the day Australians became free to make our own decisions about which wars we would fight and how our citizens would be treated. It was the day Aborigines were declared Australians.

    Until this date, Aborigines were not protected by law. For the first time since Cook’s landing, this new Act gave Aboriginal Australians by inference and precedent the full protection of Australian law.

    Because of this Act, the government became free to help Aborigines, and since that day much has been done to assist Aboriginal Australians, including saying ‘sorry’ for the previous atrocities done before this law came into being.

    This was a great day for all Australians!

    This is why the 26th of January is the day new Australians receive their citizenship. It is a day which celebrates the implementation of the Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1948 – the Act which gave freedom and protection to the first Australians and gives all Australians, old and new, the right to live under the protection of Australian Law, united as one nation.

    Now, isn’t that cause for celebration?

    Education is key! There is a great need for education on the real reason we celebrate Australia Day on the 26th of January. This reason needs to be advertised and taught in schools. We all need to remember this one very special day in Australia’s history, when freedom came to all Australians.

    What was achieved that day is something for which all Australians can be proud!

    We need to remember both the good and the bad in our history, but the emphasis must be the freedom and unity all Australians now have, because of what was done on the 26th of January 1949, to allow all of us to live without fear in a land of peace.

    Isn’t it time all Australians were taught the real reason we celebrate Australia Day?

    1. “This is why we celebrate Australia Day on the 26th of January!”

      Australian Independence Day is January 26th? They’re doing a very good job of keeping that quiet, I must say. Canadian here, I had no idea.

      Not surprising though, Dominion Day in Canada is July 1st, which commemorates the formation of Canada in 1867. Except now we call it Canada Day and everybody thinks its just a summer long weekend. Keeping the reason for the day secret is a thing lately.

  9. Australia was, if anything, more complicated than Europe, and the people who lived on the continent were all living on one continent but were no more the same nation than Estonians are quite the same as Spaniards – and the distances between some groups was far larger and less traveled than those in Europe.

    You know, I habitually mock those who refer to “Native American” culture, given that there pretty much no common culture between the Inuit, the Salish, the Seminoles, the Mohawks, and the Utes, to name just a handful. However, despite that, I’ve always thought of the Australian Aboriginals as a more or less monolithic group. Note to self: re-read that part in the Bible about paying attention to the splinter in your neighbors eye while ignoring the log in your own.

    Do you know any good sources to read about the different Aboriginal groups?

    1. The Mohawks and the rest of the Six Nations aren’t even “native”, they were re-located from New York State by the Brits after 1776.

      Some of the Indian history of Ontario makes for gristly reading, the Algonquins and the Neutrals were basically wiped out by the Iroquois when the only white men in the country were the French fur traders on the Great Lakes. Perpetual state of war, is what it was.

Comments are closed.