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Australia Day: Council scraps ‘grossly insensitive’ celebration

A woman at a protest held on Australia Day in JanuaryImage copyright
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A protest held on Australia Day in January

A 3rd council in Melbourne has voted to scrap Australia Day celebrations out of respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Australia’s nationwide day on 26 January marks the anniversary of the arrival of Britain’s First Fleet in 1788.

Moreland City councillor Sue Bolton mentioned the commemoration was “like celebrating the Nazi Holocaust”, the Australian Associated Press reported.

But others defended the day, which is backed by Australia’s authorities.

Assistant immigration minister Alex Hawke mentioned the federal government “strongly condemns comparisons of Australia Day with the Nazi Holocaust as deeply offensive to all Australians”.

A majority of Moreland councillors voted to drop all references to Australia Day, though it would proceed to carry citizenship ceremonies on 26 January. Ms Bolton mentioned the date was “grossly insensitive”.

It follows choices by Melbourne’s Yarra and Darebin councils to additionally finish celebrations on what many indigenous Australians discuss with as “Invasion Day”.

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Media captionWhy is Australia Day controversial?

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported that two Aboriginal leaders voiced opposing views on the council assembly.

“How dare you truly take away Australia Day. We are all Australians right here… whether or not we be indigenous or non-indigenous,” mentioned Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter.

Dja Dja Wurrung elder Gary Murray mentioned: “Why would black folks, Aboriginal folks, rejoice a holocaust?”

Calls to shift Australia Day have grown in recent times and spurred protests, however the authorities has repeatedly mentioned a majority of Australians help retaining the date.

“An assault on Australia Day is a repudiation of the values the day celebrates: freedom, a good go, mateship and variety,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mentioned final month.

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