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Melbourne has voted to change the date of Australia Day away from January 26

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

Melbourne has voted to change the date of Australia Day away from January 26

The City of Melbourne council is considering moving Australia Day from January 26 as the majority of residents have voted to change the date.

Herald Sun reports that the Institute of Public Affairs poll released in January revealed that 60 per cent of Melburnians were in favour of moving the day. 

While 31 per cent of surveyed participants were happy to keep the date as it is.

Following the results, councillors will meet next week at Tuesday’s Future Melbourne Committee to discuss various options, including advocating to the Federal government.

Credit: Kerin Forstmanis / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Kerin Forstmanis / Alamy Stock Photo

The City of Melbourne issued a statement that read: “If endorsed, Council will continue to issue permits for events delivered by the State Government and other organisations on Australia Day, while supporting activities that acknowledge First Nations perspectives of 26 January.

“The City of Melbourne is working to advance reconciliation and govern with Aboriginal peoples, however any decision to change the date must be made at a Federal Government level.”

Credit: Stephanie Qiao / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Stephanie Qiao / Alamy Stock Photo

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed that the government has no official plans to change the date.

Last week, he told Channel 7’s Sunrise: "No, we have no plans to change Australia Day.”

He added: "I know the Lord Mayor (Sally Capp) there, she is a terrific person.

"I'd say let's focus on recognising the fact that our nation's birth certificate should proudly recognise that we did not begin in 1788, which is what the 26th of January commemorates, it began at least 60,000 years ago with the oldest continuous civilisation on earth.

"That should be a source of pride."

But Indigenous activists have been rallying for decades to change the date, which has been celebrated since 1994, as it marks when the British settlement came to the country..

Bangarang woman Aunty Geraldine Atkinson has called for a day everyone can celebrate, as per Nine News.

She said: "It's not about being divisive.

"I do mourn about the fact of what happened to my people."

And while the Change The Date movement has become increasingly more recognised over the past few years, renowned musician and Yuin and Thunghutti man, Nooky, says moving the day won’t make a difference at large, according to Mashable.

He said: "If you look at the past two, maybe three years, there's been a big online conversation about it," Nooky said. 

"[Social media] is the place where the conversations spark -- the good conversations and the bad.

 "If they change the date, fine. I'm still not going to celebrate Australia day. Not till I can call myself equal."

Featured Image Credit: Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo. Stephanie Qiao / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Australia, Racism

Charisa Bossinakis
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