An estimated 1.5 million Indigenous Australians inhabited Australia in 1788 but by 1901 the population had dropped by a devastating number. Around 1.4 million Indigenous lives were lost, and the new total population estimate became 100,000.
In comparison, in 1492 there were about three to five million Native Americans in America, and by 1850 there were 250,000. Just an awful bit of history that happened more than 100 years ago.
But that's not the same case for Australia is it? No, our 'awful bit of history' continued into the 1970s. It wasn't some distant tragic history, it's recent, and still a major problem in Australia.
To make things worse for the traditional owners of this land, there's a day to celebrate what was the destruction of their culture.
First of all, let's get the plain facts out of the way.
January 26 commemorates when the Union Jack was first raised to claim the land after the First Fleet of British ships in 1788 arrived.
This was after they fought off and killed the 20,000 Indigenous Australians that lined the shores to protect their land of course.
There is no way to dodge the irrefutable facts about what was done to the original owners of this land.
Indigenous people were killed, captured and forced into segregation.
Indigenous children were stolen from their homes, forbidden from speaking their own language.
The settlers were trying to breed out our traditional owners.
There is no way around this, there is no way to deny this. This is our history.
The argument that Australia Day isn't celebrating invasion and slavery does not matter.
Even if it is not a reminder to you, or you don't technically celebrate it, it's a day that reminds many Indigenous people of their ancestors being slaughtered and stolen from their families.
The fact is, even if not for all people, it still reminds people of the destruction of culture and painful memories.
It doesn't matter if celebrating Australia Day is not technically celebrating the first fleet invading, but it is on the date the flag was first raised and the beginning of a terrible ordeal for an ancient and beautiful culture around Australia.
For some it is painful and disrespectful that we celebrate it on this day and this is the very real reason the date should be changed.
"The land is my mother. Like a human mother, the land gives us protection, enjoyment and provides our needs - economic, social and religious. We have a human relationship with the land: mother, daughter, son. When the land is taken from us or destroyed, we feel hurt because we belong to the land and we are part of it." - Djiniyini Gondarra, Aboriginal theologist.
The land was never anybody's to take. But we still celebrate this country on the day it was stolen.
Changing the date can help Australia really take a step forward in being inclusive and apologising.
Of course what has been done can never be undone, but we can at least not hide from our mistakes. We should strive try to make things right. Even if it's piece by piece.
It's not a big deal to change the date of Australia day. But it is a really big deal if we leave things as is. For the people whose lives were destroyed. For Australia.
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