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New Poll Reveals Two Thirds Of Australians Want Australia Day Kept On January 26

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New Poll Reveals Two Thirds Of Australians Want Australia Day Kept On January 26

With Australia Day around the corner, new research has found that more than two-thirds of Australians want Australia Day to remain on January 26.

According to a survey of 1,038 people by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), 69 per cent of Australians wanted the controversial day to be celebrated on the same date, while just 11 per cent wished for the date being changed.

The majority of those surveyed - 82 per cent - said they felt proud to be Australian, while 72 per cent thought celebrating the national day was 'a way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to celebrate being Australian.'

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IPA's Bella d'Abrera said that Australia Day should 'unite all Australians'.

"Mainstream Australians are fundamentally optimistic and positive about Australia and its values," she said. "January 26 marks the foundation of modern Australia, and the freedoms that go with it.

"Modern Australia is defined by freedoms which are enjoyed by all Australians. This is something that should be celebrated, not denigrated.

"Australians are fundamentally proud to be Australian and recognise that Australia has a history to be proud of."

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However, there is still a vocal could of people who reckon the date needs to be shuffled around until everyone is happy.

Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher said that holding Australia Day on January 26 was 'hurtful and disrespectful' to Indigenous people.

"We could keep January 26 as a public holiday for our Remembrance Day, or Day of Reclaiming, or Recognition Day so that all of Australia never forget," Gallagher said.

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Creative Commons
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The survey results come after Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe called for the Aboriginal Flag to be flown at half-mast across the country on January 26.

She believes the move would recognise the First Nations people who were affected by the European colonisation of Australia.

Thorpe reflected on how the day has 'colonial flag-waving', 'heightened racism', and the 'celebration of violent occupation' on a day which saw 'at least 270 massacres of First Nations peoples in this country.'

"I know that we are not alone in wanting to believe that this country is capable of telling the truth about its violent history - reckoning with its past, so it can better deal with its present," Thorpe said in a passionate op-ed on SMH.

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Aboriginal Flag
Aboriginal Flag

"As with ANZAC Day, we ask that all Australians join us in acknowledging January 26 as a day of respectful reflection and mourning for those who died fighting for the country.

"A day of mourning is not a new idea, but it is an important one.

"On this day, the Aboriginal flag can be flown at half-mast, as befits a day of grief and remembrance. I'm inviting communities, councils and organisations across Australia to do just that.

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"Those attending Invasion Day dawn services should also consider wearing black, to symbolise mourning.

"The countless injustices Aboriginal people have faced began on January 26, 1788, but they continue today."

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons

Topics: Australia

Jessica Lynch
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