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Letter: The ‘truth’ of Australia Day

Thursday 26 January 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: The ‘truth’ of Australia Day

Dear Editor, This is information that all Australians need to know. Especially those that believe it has to do with how anybody was treated. People should learn the true facts before opening their mouth to spew falsehood.

This information was authored by Peter Lee – it should be taught to all Australians.

Below is the reason Australia day is celebrated on 26 January.

Here are the facts about Australia Day but don’t expect the media to educate you with these facts as it is not part of their agenda

1. Australia Day does not celebrate the arrival of the first fleet or the invasion of anything

2. Captain Cook did not arrive in Australia on the 26th January. The landing of Captain Cook in Sydney happened on the 28th April 1770 – not on 26th January.

3. The first fleet arrived in Botany Bay on 18th January. The 26th was chosen as Australia Day for a very different and important reason.

The 26th of January is the day Australians received their independence from British Rule. However, Captain Cook’s landing was included in Australian bi-centenary celebrations of 1988 when Sydney-siders decided Captain Cook’s landing should become the focus of the Australia Day commemoration.

Sadly, the importance of this date for all Australians has begun to fade and now a generation later, it is all but lost. The media as usual is happy to twist the truth for the sake of controversy.

Captain Cook didn’t land on the 26th 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.

Australians of today abhor what was done under British governance to the Aborigines, the Irish and many other cultures around the world. So after the horrors of WW11, we decided to try and fix it. We became our own people.

On 26th 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 and not British subjects.

In 1949 therefore, we all became Australian citizens under the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948.

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

This is why we celebrate Australia Day on the 26th 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 we were all declared Australians.

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

This is why 26th January is the day new Australians receive their citizenship. It is a day which celebrates the implementation of the Nationality of 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 the Australian Law, united as one nation.

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

Isn’t it time therefore that all Australians were taught the real reason we celebrate Australia Day on 26th January? In one way or another, we are all descendants of Australia. All of us. So we should all be celebrating and giving thanks for the freedoms, the lifestyles and opportunities that we currently enjoy, thanks to the strengths and battles of our ancestors.

T. F. Harrison

Aitutaki

Comments

Ian Evans on 28/01/2023

I will not be forwarding this on to my family and friends. You see, it appears when people want to spin their version of past events, they only tell you what they want you to hear. The Author, Peter Lee, of this piece is no different I believe to everyone else. Whilst he talks about Captain Cook, who had nothing to do with British settlers invading a new land, that was not theirs, or had permission to land on, he conveniently does not mention what happened on 26 January 1788. My belief, Peter mentions Cook to throw people off the real events, that occurred in 1788. When Cook was surveying the east coast of Australia, he stopped in Botany Bay for a week. Whilst he entered the land, he did not invade it. Captain Cook was killed. Cook was attacked and killed on 14 February 1779, during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific, while attempting to kidnap the ruling chief of the island of Hawiaiʻi, Kalaniʻōpuʻu, to reclaim a cutter taken from one of his ships after his crew took wood from a burial ground, some 13 months after the first settlers, settled in Australia. That 3rd voyage started in 1776.Communication back then is not what it is today. Cook may not have been aware Australia had been invaded by British settlers. In fact, going on the dates he sailed and not arriving back to his home land alive, I believe had no knowledge of it. FACT: • Whilst Peter writes a lot about, Captain Cook, in this piece, I believe this is to put in people’s minds, it is all about Cook. To throw people off what really occurred. • Peter makes mention of Cook landing 28th April, in Sydney. It was not Sydney which is some 10 miles north of where Cook landed, it was Botany Bay. See some facts on the date Cook landed due to the IDL https://www.maas.museum/observations/2011/10/20/when-did-captain-cook-land-in-australia-and-did-any-changes-in-the-international-date-line-lead-to-a-change-in-dates-in-australia/ Peter does not mention anything on the dates. • In fact, Cook did not enter Port Jackson after leaving Botany Bay. Cook continued northwards up the east coast. Cook’s next stopped at Bustard Bay, now known as Seventy Seventy in QLD. • Yes, the first fleet arrived in Botany Bay, 18 January, but land was not considered suitable to settle on. The first fleet sailed onto Port Jackson and arrived/settled/invaded, an old land, which Indigenous people were the inhibitors on, 26 January 1788. It appears Peter Lee conveniently leaves this information out of his writings, what is his reasons? My belief to throw people off what really occurred. • Peter mention in part “ On 26 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 and not British subjects”. Correct. • Peter also states in part: “The media as usual is happy to twist the truth for the sake of controversy”. Channel 7 news Australia, last Thursday night, 26 January, referred to this occurrence, January 1949. Yes, whilst many in the media are pushing their own agenda, especially the ABC Australia, I believe, some are stating some of the facts. See Thursdays 6pm news on 7+, to see the story. • What is Peter’s agenda not mentioning what occurred on, 26 January 1788? My belief, there is a lot of water to pass under the bridge on this subject. How come countries like New Zealand and Canada have been able to make more peace with their Indigenous peoples, but it appears Australia still has a long way to go. And more to the point one must have forgiveness, or neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you.