OPINION: Time for an alternative to classic Australia Day?

AH, IT'S that time of year again: when we all cringe at the latest ad for lamb. The latest one shows a cheesy military mission to bring Aussie expats back home to chew on a chop.

Maybe I'm a city slicker but I've never met anyone who goes out of their way to eat lamb on Australia Day.

It's a fictional tradition thought up in a boardroom to sell more cutlets.

The other funny thing about the ad, which tries to invoke Australian pride, is there wasn't a single indigenous person to be seen.

I'm as white as they come but it only takes a bit of empathy see why so many people prefer to call today Invasion Day.

Agnes Water's Angel Owen, who at age 16 is part of the indigenous youth climate change lobby SEED, says Australia Day needs to be a day "where we recognise the struggle indigenous people went through, but also celebrate where we are as a multicultural country".

"We need to be all-inclusive and not use it as an excuse to get penalty rates and have a cold beer."

I think she's spot on.

Plenty of us hop off to the $2 shop every January to buy Australia Day flags, t-shirts, boardies, thongs and lilos that were made overseas by someone who probably earns a dollar a day.

I somehow doubt the kind of person who buys a cheap flag they're going to throw out next month gives much thought to whether they're really supporting their country, economically or culturally.

We need to find an alternative that caters for everyone. By all means throw a barbie, but moving the date to a day that does not mark murder for an entire culture would be a good start.

Let's take the great aspects of our national identity - like mateship and compassion - and apply them.

Plenty of us have always gone along with the Australia Day tradition, me included, because it's just that - a tradition. But how much of it is as manufactured as a cheap rissole?
 



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