Mayor's controversial opinion piece has sparked fierce debate in the community.
Mayor's controversial opinion piece has sparked fierce debate in the community. Trevor Veale

Upset about Australia Day date? Just 'get over it'

SHOULD the date of Australia Day be changed? This is one question that can cause quite a debate.

Following a strong opinion piece from Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, who called for a date change, our readers have shared their views.

Many agreed with Cr Richardson's sentiments about the controversial issue.

"Absobloodylutely! The 26th marks the day when some of my ancestors came here as slaves and it marks the beginning of the end of many Indigenous lives and languages. It is not a day for celebration,” John Taylor said.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind it's not the day we should be calling Australia Day. Nothing wrong with celebrating the Arrival of Europeans and the new world and marketplace to this continent at all and I'll even join in. But Australia Day needs to have more meaning and include our indigenous brothers and sisters and not just be about a Lamb TV commercial about cooking a BBQ that dictates how we should celebrate it. Time for it to be on another day that has more inclusive meaning and make the day feel genuine, and not just an excuse,” Philip Chilli Tsourlinis said.

"May 8. M8. Maaate. 26th January lest we forget those who fought for and died for their own country,” Cherrie Lovejoy said.

"Yes he's right. Let's have it on 31st Dec. 4 day week end a win-win for all,” Bernie Delaney said.

"It should be the day we first become a Republic, until then it should be England Day, Occupation Day or Convict Day,” John Stuwe said.

"Change the date. Let's all celebrate together on another day as Jan 26 should be a day of mourning,” Leonnie Carroll said.

"Yes I agree nothing - Australian about white people our ancestors coming here to take over something that didn't belong to them for them not to ask but takeover is pathetic. They stole children, raped woman - even though they hated the black race but still raped them - they killed them, and even poisoned their ration packs and used them, slaving them without pay. Now that is unAustralian,” John Smith said.

"Forget the whole thing I say! When our human rights record has been a source of embarrassment since 'Discovery' who would want to celebrate being Australian? Racists and ignorant civilians that's who,” Kathryn Anderson said.

However, others were staunchly opposed to Cr Richardson's suggestion, with some, like Naz Buchanan, telling those wanting the date changed to "get over it”.

"What a lot of rot! Why change history just to please the minority,” Marie Newstead said.

"We have to stop trying to please everyone. Leave Australia Day alone,” Brad Maxwell said.

"Australia Day is non-negotiable for Australians. Unless you don't consider yourself to be part of Australia,” Alex Morschel said.

"NO! Another lefty trying to re-write our history,” Michael Behan said.

"Seriously this attitude is what divides a country. Black white pink or yellow we are all true blue Aussies. Get your barbies out grab an Esky and enjoy our beautiful country. It really is the best place in the world to live. Let's enjoy it together. We are one!” Julz Butler said.

"Let's put some perspective on this? If it wasn't for the British, we would NOT be here..... And most likely any citizens would be speaking French. We have evolved from British to Australian. So at what point can you exactly say we became Australian? This argument will continue for decades. Why can't we just all be happy and make this day for ALL Australians?” Stuart Hayman said.

"For goodness sake its AUSTRALIA DAY, always has been and if the Mayor doesn't want to enjoy the day then let him watch telly at home,” Ericka Irvine said.

"Every human being on this planet has pain in their ancestry. Leave the past where it belongs. Move on and be grateful for what a great country we ALL have,” Joy Davis said.

"It's Australia Day. It just is. So shut up an enjoy it. Stop trying to create stupid arguments that divide people. Just enjoy it for what it is, whatever day it's on,” Danny Martin said.

"We celebrate the Queen's birthday etc, they're all just silly occasions to have long weekends. But who's whinging,” Tony Young said.

"No. It's the 26th January always will be,” Marshall Hall said.

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